NEW YORK, 3 January (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the World Customs Organization have agreed on a memorandum of understanding to formalize existing cooperation.
Signed by Kim Won-soo, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, and Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization, the memorandum of understanding supports efforts to enhance States’ implementation of commitments on cross-border arms regulation, with a particular focus on combating the trafficking of small arms and light weapons, an illicit trade that poses a grave threat to international peace and security and to the lives of millions, in addition to undermining the rule of law and impeding sustainable development.
The international community has taken steps to address that danger by pursuing the formation of a multilateral framework of instruments to regulate the manufacturing, possession, transfer and tracing of small arms and light weapons. They include the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, the Firearms Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Arms Trade Treaty. In addition, the Security Council has addressed the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons in both country-specific and thematic resolutions, further underscoring the urgent need to tackle the issue.
Bearing existing instruments in mind, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the World Customs Organization agree to work together in support of countries’ implementation of their international obligations relating to small arms and light weapons. Both entities will also share expertise in the areas of building arms-management and ammunition-capacity, and coordinate joint training activities for customs officers on matters relating to non-proliferation and arms regulation.
Moreover, they agree to continue supporting relevant international initiatives aimed at preventing the illicit diversion and trafficking of small arms and light weapons, including through support for the World Customs Organization small arms and light weapons programme and promotion of international standards and good practices such as the International Small Arms Standards and the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines.
For more information on the World Customs Organization small arms and light weapons programme, please visit www.wcoomd.org/en/topics/enforcement-and-compliance/activities-and-programmes/security-programme.aspx.
For more information on the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs’ work on small arms, please visit www.un.org/disarmament/salw.
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