Tuesday 13 October

On Tuesday 13 October, the following delegations addressed First Committee on the topic of small arms and light weapons (SALW): Austria, Botswana, France, Italy, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Zambia.

France, Norway, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine and Uruguay expressed their concerns of the illicit transfer/ trafficking of SALW and reinforced their commitment to preventing such illicit trafficking of weapons. France stated that the risk of an arms race must be eliminated, while Norway stressed that it is the responsibility of all nations to prevent the illicit transfer of arms across borders and to non-state or unauthorized actors. Uganda emphasized that the human, social and economic cost of arms transfers demand that the international community strengthen their commitment to curbing the illicit transfer of SALW. Further, Ukraine noted some areas of improvement, namely brokering activities and arms transfers. Tunisia also stressed the importance of programmes such as DDR and SSR programmes that help collect and destroy unauthorized arms.

In relation to the Programme of Action (PoA), Botswana, South Africa, Tunisia and Uruguay reinforced their commitment to the instrument, stating that it is an important framework for which nations can rely on the curb the illicit transfer of arms.  South Africa stressed the need for increased international cooperation and assistance for the successful implementation of the PoA, while Uruguay noted the important synergies between the PoA and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Botswana further noted the importance not only of the PoA, but of the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) on the marking and tracing of weapons and noted the success of the Meeting of Governmental Experts (MGE2) in June 2015.

UN Security Council Resolution 2220 was welcomed by Uruguay, while UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was noted with significance by Italy.

Austria, France, Italy, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Uruguay, and Zambia expressed their commitment to the ATT, and urged for the full and effective implementation of the Treaty, in addition to the universalization of the Treaty in order for it to be as successful as possible.