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UN SC to consider first ever resolution on small arms

September 26, 2013, 10:16 UTC+3

It aims at strengthening the international legal framework to combat trafficking in small arms and light weapons

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Julie Bishop, Photo EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Julie Bishop, Photo EPA/JUSTIN LANE

UNITED NATIONS, September 26 (Itar-Tass) - The UN Security Council on Thursday will consider its first ever resolution that is aimed to strengthen the international legal framework to combat trafficking in small arms and light weapons. Meetings on this subject have not been held since April 30, 2008 - this time they will be held at a high level with the participation of foreign ministers of the member countries, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The meeting’s initiator was Australia that is presiding over the Security Council this month. The meeting will be chaired by the country’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. The Australian delegation has also presented a draft resolution on small arms, which has not undergone major changes over two weeks of unease consultations. The majority of the UN Security Council’s 15 member countries are expected to vote for the document.

According to diplomats, the final version of the text contains provisions on the UN Member States’ obligations to fully comply with and effectively monitor the embargo regimes imposed by the Security Council in respect of the states in conflict and that have internal political crises. At present, such prohibitions apply to 11 countries. In addition, the document also envisages an embargo on arms supplies to extremist and terrorist elements.

The draft resolution also calls upon the States to do everything to facilitate the efforts aimed at post-conflict disarmament, as well as the protection of stockpiles of weapons. The document also warns about the consequences of illegal arms turnover for the safety of civilians and human rights. In addition, it calls on UN member states to accede to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Optional Protocols, as well as to sign and ratify the International Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

According to sources at the UN headquarters, during the negotiation on the draft resolution Russia proposed to include in it a call to countries on the inadmissibility of the supply of light weapons to unauthorized non-state actors. However, these attempts have met with opposition of a number of other Security Council members, including the United States.

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