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24 October 2019

New ‘Saving Lives Entity’ to Make Difference in Curbing Armed Violence, Rampant Proliferation of Small Arms

NEW YORK, 24 October (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — Armed violence and rampant proliferation of small arms are massive deal‑breakers for sustainable development, which is why there is urgent need to better mainstream control of small arms in development efforts and policies.

To that end, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, in concert with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is launching the Saving Lives Entity (SALIENT).  The new facility, established within the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, supports a comprehensive, cross‑sectional and multi‑year approach to addressing armed violence and the diversion of weaponry in targeted countries.

SALIENT will address the supply side in reducing the illicit trade in small arms, including support for stockpile and border management, for building the capacity of national institutions in law enforcement and criminal justice, and for strengthening legislation.

On the demand side, which has traditionally received less attention, the fund will support community policing, the prevention of armed violence and similar initiatives.  Recognizing the heavily gendered nature of the causes and impact of armed violence, SALIENT’s activities will be supported and informed by solid gender analyses.

The establishment of the Saving Lives Entity arises from actions outlined in the United Nations Secretary‑General’s Agenda for Disarmament (2018).  He recognizes the need for a paradigm shift away from traditional “security only” approaches to small‑arms control.  The challenges posed by illicit small arms encompass often overlapping issues of an institutional, legal, educational, development or law‑enforcement nature.  With multidimensional challenges calling for multidimensional responses, what is needed for effective small‑arms control and regulation is a more integrated and coordinated programmatic approach.  Such interventions are needed at scale, supported by a flexible, development‑oriented funding mechanism.  The Secretary‑General underlines that this is precisely what Member States called for in the 2018 Review conference of the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms.

With financial support already received from Japan and New Zealand, the first SALIENT pilot projects — driven by United Nations country teams wherever possible — will begin in 2020.

SALIENT will be officially launched at a side event today, on the margins of the General Assembly’s First Committee (Disarmament and International Security).

For more information on SALIENT and the Secretary-General’s Disarmament Agenda, visit www.un.org/disarmament/sg-agenda.

Contact:  Fiona Simpson, Political Affairs Officer, simpson3@un.org.

For information media. Not an official record.