Asean Members Move Against Illicit Trade In Small Arms

Source: Vientiane Times

Laos and other Asean member countries are strengthening their position on the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons to further enhance the safety of people in the region.

To this end, officials and experts from Asean countries, Aseanapol and the United Nations began a two-day meeting in Vientiane yesterday in capacity building for strengthening the implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action (POA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Aspects, also contributing to achieving Laos’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The training workshop follows closely the conclusion of the 17th Asean Senior Officials on Transnational Crime meeting which wrapped up two weeks ago in Vientiane.

Deputy Director General of the International Organisations Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs MrKhamphengDuangthongla made mention of the Asean senior officials being committed to combating various crimes, including small arms and light weapons smuggling to ensure peace, stability and well-being of the people in the region.

“This will contribute to international peace and security as well as move forward the achieving of the SDG that is targeting the reduction of the illicit arms flow and to combat all forms of organised crime by 2030,” MrKhampheng said, recognising that small arms and light weapons have posed a serious threat to peace, safety, security, stability and sustainable development at the national, regional and international levels.

The POA to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Aspects was adopted at the UN Conference in 2001 and provided a practical arrangement for the international community to address the issue of small arms and light weapons.

The training also contributes to the implementation and achieving of SDG target 16.4 that is targeting to reduce the illicit arms flow and combat all forms of organised crime by 2030.

Speaking at the meeting in Vientiane, Director of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) MrYuriyKrysvonos said the UN recognised the significant progress achieved by Southeast Asian statutes in the implementation of the POA.

According to the UN official, responding to requests of Asean states for assistance, the UNRCPD has continued providing its support to national efforts to implement both provisions of the POA and decisions of consequent biannual meeting of states.

Mr. Krysvonos noted the importance of the building of national capacities to implement the POA and to combat illicit arms trafficking, saying the workshop would directly contribute to significantly reducing illicit arms flow and would also contribute to SDG target 16.1, to significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.

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