22 June 2006

Workshop for Developing Countries on Illicit Trade in Small Arms, Light Weapons to Be Held at Headquarters, 22 - 23 June

NEW YORK, 21 June (Department for Disarmament Affairs) -- On the eve of the United Nations Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (New York, 26 June-7 July 2006), representatives of national coordinating bodies for the implementation of the Programme of Action from 30 developing countries are participating in a workshop in New York, from 22 to 23 June 2006.  The objective of the workshop is to build the capacity of Governments to implement the Programme of Action.  The workshop is organized by the Department for Disarmament Affairs and sponsored by the Government of Canada.  Participants will form part of their countries' delegations to the Review Conference.

The workshop's aims are:  to discuss the role of national coordinating bodies (national commissions and national focal points) in implementing the Programme of Action and foster an exchange of experiences and lessons learned; to familiarize participants with the Programme of Action, the newly adopted international instrument on tracing illicit small arms and light weapons, the United Nations Firearms Protocol and regional agreements dealing with illicit small arms and light weapons; to enhance understanding of key issues, such as illicit brokering in small arms and light weapons and import and export controls.  The workshop will also prepare participants for direct involvement in the Review Conference, including procedural aspects, and introduce them to the role of the United Nations in facilitating international assistance for the implementation of international commitments in the fight against the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

The Department for Disarmament Affairs and United Nations agencies will lead the workshop.  Representatives of Canada and Chile are facilitating discussions on international instruments and multilateral negotiations.  A number of other organizations will also provide their expertise, including the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC); Groupe de Recherche et d'Information sur la Paix et la Sécurité (GRIP); INTERPOL; Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP); the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); SaferAfrica; Saferworld; and the Small Arms Survey.

For further information, contact:  Daiana Cipollone, Political Affairs Officer, tel: 1 917 367 4035, e-mail: cipollone@un.org  

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