6-7 June 2017 Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic
The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) and the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) jointly organized a training workshop on building capacity for the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Southeast Asia from 6 to 7 June 2017. The training workshop, which was made possible with financial support from the United Nations Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR), brought together 23 participants from the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Timor-Leste, and the ASEAN Association of Chiefs of Police (ASEANAPOL), as well as representatives from the United Nations, to discuss progress and challenges in the implementation of the PoA and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI), and the use of the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS).
During the workshop, participants and experts from UNRCPD and the Office for Disarmament Affairs shared information on a) the preparations for the third PoA Review Conference in 2018; b) strengthening national capacity in SALW controls through the use of the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) and development of a PoA national action plan; c) monitoring progress in achieving target 16.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals, on reducing illicit arms flows, and how data reflected in the national PoA reports are also indicative of progress made towards target 16.4; and d) synergies between the PoA and other international instruments regulating arms flows such as the Arms Trade Treaty.
Representatives from Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam exchanged national practices and experiences in PoA implementation, the preparation of national reports and elaboration of national action plans. Moreover, a representative from the ASEANAPOL Secretariat provided an overview of the work of ASEANAPOL and activities related to the PoA and on preventing illicit arms flows in the ASEAN region.
The participants also engaged in two practical exercises during the workshop aimed at building capacity of States representatives in planning national measures to effectively control SALW. On the first day, they used the ISACS assessment tool and designed national action plans to implement the PoA, by means of two case studies on destruction and stockpile management of SALW, respectively. On the second day, participants took part in an exercise on compiling national reports to the PoA and the ITI. Government officials were provided with practical advice and skills on collecting national data and on preparing and submitting national reports online.
In the post-event evaluations, participants provided positive feedback, citing their satisfaction with the quality and practical elements of the workshop. Moreover, participants demonstrated a commitment to further working towards the full implementation of the PoA.