25-26 November 2015
Manila, the Philippines
More than 40 experts and participants from the Philippine Police, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crimes met on 25-26 November 2015 in Manila, the Philippines, to learn more about and discuss the implementation requirements for the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA SALW) and in this context to share and recommend best practices. This workshop was organized by the UN Regional Centre on Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific in cooperation with the Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime, and with financial support from the Government of Germany.
International experts explained the provisions of the PoA as well as other relevant global instruments. Furthermore, participants received a presentation on the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS), as well as a demonstration of the utilization of the related Assessment Tool for conducting self-assessment and identifying priority tasks for a national plan of action on SALW.
The second day was dedicated to discussion and interaction on practical issues. Split into two groups, the participants actively discussed legal and technical challenges as well as needs and available assistance tools. The summary and outcomes of these practical exercises were then presented and discussed at the workshop’s closing session.
In a post-event evaluation, the participants provided positive feedback citing the usefulness and effectiveness of the workshop. They also requested the organization of additional such workshops to address specific legal norms, harmonizing national legislation, as well as marking and tracing of SALW and destruction of illicit arms.
In the words of the Deputy Special Envoy on Transnational Crimes and Director for Technical Services, Brigadier General Rafael Romero (retired) – this workshop, which aimed at assisting and enhancing the capacity of the national agencies to effectively implement the PoA: “occurred at the right time, in the right place and with the right people”.