Small Arms Meeting Addresses Progress, Pitfalls

Article excerpt

Much work remains to be done in the effort to curb illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, according to representatives of governments and nongovernmental organizations who met in New York City July 7-11. The meeting was organized to discuss the progress made in the two years since the signing of a Program of Action, which identifies national, regional, and global measures needed to slow the illegal small arms trade.

The experts said that some of the outstanding issues that still need to be tackled include stockpile destruction and management, export and import controls, research, institution building, and human security issues. Receiving particular attention was the notion of marking and tracing small arms and light weapons so they can be better tracked from buyer to buyer. A group of governmental experts recommended the creation of an international instrument for marking and tracing.

The meeting provided an opportunity for states to report on their progress in enacting national legislation and coordinating regional and international action to stop small-arm and lightweapon trade. Both states and nongovernmental groups identified national legislation on arms brokering and end-use monitoring as major priorities. …