16-17 August 2017, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
From 16 to 17 August 2017, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) and the Government of Mongolia jointly organized a training workshop on the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in All Its Aspects in Central Asia. It brought together 16 participants from Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Tajikistan, and representatives from the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), to discuss progress in, and challenges to, the implementation of the PoA and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI).
During the workshop, participants, UN and OSCE experts shared information relating to a) the challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the PoA and the ITI at the global level; b) preparations for the third PoA Review Conference, which will take place in 2018; c) strengthening national capacity in SALW controls through the use of the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) and the development of national action plans; d) data collection for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 16.4 on reducing illicit arms flows, and how national reporting to the PoA could help this purpose; and e) synergies between the PoA and other international instruments regulating arms flows, such as the Arms Trade Treaty.
Representatives shared their national practices and experiences on PoA implementation, preparation of national reports and development of national action plans, highlighting both opportunities and challenges. They expressed their commitment to further working towards the full implementation of the PoA. The representative from the OSCE provided an overview of OSCE activities related to SALW control and presented the OSCE online reporting tool on SALW developed in cooperation with Conventional Arms Branch of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (CAB/UNODA). The tool is aimed at harmonising two reporting mechanisms (on the implementation of the PoA and the OSCE Document on SALW) and thereby reducing the reporting burden for States.
Two capacity-building exercises were conducted to improve participants’ practical skills in developing national measures to effectively control SALW and compiling PoA reports. In the first exercise, participants familiarized themselves with case studies on the destruction and stockpile management of SALW and then used the ISACS Assessment Tool to analyse each case and work out recommendations for national action plans to resolve identified concerns. The second exercise was carried out on the final day of the workshop, with participants receiving practical guidance on data collection and the preparation and online submission of PoA national reports.
In the evaluation session of the workshop, participants highlighted their positive appreciation of the event and underscored how the knowledge received and the information shared among the delegations would be useful in improving their skills in the implementation of the PoA and the ITI in their respective countries. The training workshop was made possible with financial support from the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR).