NAM supporting UN efforts to combat illicit trade in SALW

The illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) occurs in all parts of the globe but is concentrated in areas afflicted by armed conflict, violence, and organized crime, where the demand for illicit weapons is often highest. Arms trafficking fuels civil wars and regional conflicts; stocks the arsenals of terrorists, drug cartels, and other armed groups; and contributes to violent crime and the proliferation of sensitive technology. As an organization consistently striving for establishing a peaceful world order based on the principles of disarmament, NAM remains deeply concerned about the illicit transfer, manufacture and circulation of SALW and their excessive accumulation and uncontrolled spread in many regions of the world. In this connection, the movement has reiterated the importance of the implementation of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects(PoA), which it considers to be the main framework for addressing the issue of the illicit trade in these weapons. NAM stresses the importance of international assistance and cooperation as essential aspect of the full implementation of the PoA. In this regard, NAM has also encouraged all initiatives to mobilize resources and expertise as well as to provide assistance to strengthen the full implementation of the PoA.
The Movement has called on all States, particularly the major producer-States, to ensure that the supply of SALW is limited only to governments or to entities duly authorized by governments, and to fully implement the legal restrictions preventing the illicit trade of SALW. NAM recognizes the need to establish and maintain controls over private ownership of small arms. The movement has further underlined the importance of the biennial meetings of States as key follow-up mechanism to support the implementation of the PoA as it clearly determines that States should “convene a meeting of States on biennial basis to consider the national regional and global implementation of the PoA”. This mandate was again reaffirmed by resolution 62/47, which enjoyed near universal support. NAM has further called for the full implementation of the international instrument to enable States to identify and trace, in a timely and reliable manner, illicit SALW.
At the NAM Ministerial Meeting in Algiers 2014, NAM leaders emphasized that the international assistance to support the implementation of the Programme of Action is still not commensurate with the needs of affected countries, taking into account the growing magnitude of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects and the danger it continues to pose. They called for ensuring the adequacy, effectiveness and sustainability of such international assistance. They called for the provision of concrete assistance, including technical and financial assistance to developing countries upon their request. They emphasized that such assistance should not be made conditional on being part of, or detracting from, the recipient States’ Official Development Assistance. They also called on the UN, in its activities in support of the implementation of the PoA, to rely further on the expertise available in developing countries.
NAM’s positioning on this issue is that while the UN, bilateral and multilateral partners need to increase their assistance to developing countries of NAM for curbing illicit trade in SALW at the request of such countries, such assistance should not be at the expense of support for NAM developing countries in the execution of their national plans to attain the internationally agreed developmental goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. Socio-economic progress will ensure that the actions of national governments to control and eradicate the illicit SALW have effective and sustainable result. The movement has called for intensified actions at the regional and international levels to promote dialogue and a culture of peace by encouraging, as appropriate, education and public awareness programmes on the problems of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects. India, as one of the major members of the NAM has carried forward the NAM’s agenda in combating illicit trade of SALW. India believes that combating and eradicating illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in all its aspects is a key element in global, regional and national security. Considering that the illicit trade in SALW is closely linked with terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, money laundering and other trans-national organized crimes, India has taken bilateral initiatives with a number of countries to put in place arrangements which would help combat the illicit trade in SALW. The agreements aim at enhancing cooperation in combating organized crime and international terrorism. They provide for exchange of documentation, information and experience on the activities of persons involved in organized crime and terrorism, including, inter-alia, illicit trade in arms, and funding of international terrorism. NAM has called for international cooperation in realizing the goals of the fourth disarmament decade, and as examined above, combating the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons is an important objective in the movement’s framework in this regard.

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