Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago

Speech at the Regional Preparatory Conference: UN Programme of Action against the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

Port of Spain, 19/02/2018 - 19:26, UNIQUE ID: 180219_11
Speeches of the Ambassador

Regional Conference in preparation for the Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (Plan of Action) and on its International Tracing Instrument (ITI)

Regional Preparatory Conference for the Review Conference of the UN Programme of Action against the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons.

19-20 February 2018 in Port of Spain 

Organised by UNLIREC - UNODA

Introductory remarks by Aad Biesebroek, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation in Port of Spain

Regional Conference in preparation for the Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on 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) and on its International Tracing Instrument (ITI)

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning, I would like to thank the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) for inviting the EU to deliver introductory remarks at this Regional Conference in preparation of the Review Conference of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

 

I think we are all familiar with the problems that easy access to small arms pose to our societies:

  • The shooting at the school in Florida is a fresh and tragic example.
  • Trinidad and Tobago is witnessing an increase in homicides, many of which are committed with guns.
  • And the release of the movie called: the 15:17 to Paris brings back memories to the foiled terrorist attack with an AK47 on the Thalys train in France in 2015.

 

These examples show the havoc these weapons can cause and how they can undermine security and the rule of law. The EU attaches great importance to combating the scourge of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and contributes to efforts by the UN to address the problem.

 

Last year the EU Council decided to support UN Office on Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) in setting up a set of dedicated actions in order to contribute to a successful and relevant outcome of the Review Conference.  These project activities, are being implemented by UNODA and its regional branches, with the help of Small Arms Survey, and in close coordination with the President-designate of the Review Conference, Ambassador Brunet , who joins us today.

 

In October and November last year, UNODA the EU funded four thematic symposia in Brussels, Geneva and New York to allow expert discussions on four topics, notably:

  • Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) tracing and stockpile management in conflict and post-conflict situations;
  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 16 and gender aspects of SALW control;
  • Recent developments in SALW manufacturing technology and design and resulting challenges and opportunities for the implementation of the UN Programme of Action (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument;
  • Synergies between UN PoA, the Arms Trade Treaty and other relevant instruments.

 

These topics reflect important common priorities identified in the outcome documents of the Fifth and the Sixth Biennial Meetings of States in respectively 2014 and 2016, which the EU shares. Allow me to congratulate UNODA and Small Arms Survey with the successful organisation of these symposia. The outcomes of these thematic symposia will be presented to the conference today. And this brings me to the second phase of the project which is the support for Regional Conferences of which today's conference is the second one.

 

So let me thank you for your participation and wish you a successful conference.

 

Thank you.

 

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