The Security Council has repeatedly stressed the importance of preventing terrorists from accessing weapons. Its resolution 1373 (2001) requires States to refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists.

However, because of the constantly evolving nature of the operational terrorist environment, denying terrorists access to weapons is a complex and multifaceted challenge.

On 17 May 2017, the Counter-Terrorism Committee held an open briefing at which participants discussed current and emerging threats, trends and developments relating to preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons in accordance with the relevant Council resolutions and identified gaps in Member States’ efforts to implement measures to eliminate the supply of weapons to terrorists.

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Ms. Simonetta Grassi, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Global Firearms Programme

The open briefing consisted of three panel sessions.

The first session, entitled “Addressing the evolution of the threat posed by terrorists’ acquisition of weapons and how to strengthen prevention of such illegal activities”, included presentations by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

The second session, entitled “Updating Member States on the most significant gaps and challenges in protecting military surplus, implementing proper storage, and accountability, as well as on the increasing use of IEDs and associated components”, included presentations by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), UNMAS, and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).

The final session, entitled “Highlighting new risks and trends in international arms trafficking through the Internet and across borders, as well as the need to implement proper international arms control standards and use existing tools and resources”, included presentations by RAND Europe’s Defence, Security and Infrastructure Group; the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) Inter-Agency Support Unit; and the Special Representative of the International Police Organization (INTERPOL) to the United Nations.

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H.E. Mr. Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations, urged Member States to incorporate the outcomes of the discussions into their efforts to prevent terrorists, including foreign terrorist fighters, from accessing and using weapons, and to strengthen their judicial and border control capacities and their investigation of arms trafficking networks in order to address the increasing links between cross-border crime and terrorism.

The presentation of Mr. Jean-Philippe Morange, Senior Legal Officer, Counter–Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), is available here.

The remarks of Mr. Ivor Fung, Officer-in-Charge, Conventional Arms Branch, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), is available here.

The presentation of Ms. Simonetta Grassi, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Global Firearms Programme, is available here.

The audio presentation of Mr. Himayu Shiotani, Programme Lead, Conventional Arms Programme, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), is available here.

The presentation of Dr. Giacomo Persi Paoli, Research Leader, RAND Europe’s Defence, Security and Infrastructure Group, is available here.

The presentation of Mr. Patrick Mc Carthy, Ph.D., International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) Inter-Agency Support Unit, is available here.

The presentation of Mr. Emmanuel Roux, Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations, is available here.

The Chair’s summary is available here.

A webcast recording of the entire open briefing can be found here.