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Small arms and light weapons

Small arms and light weapons

 

SUMMARY OF:

Decision (CFSP) 2017/633 in support of the United Nations programme of action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DECISION?

  • It aims to tackle the illicit trade in small arms* and light weapons* (SALW) and to prevent them falling into the hands of terrorists and illegal armed groups.
  • It confirms the European Union’s commitment to the full global, national and regional implementation of United Nations (UN) action in this area.

KEY POINTS

The EU supported the work of the 2018 UN conference reviewing the implementation of anti-SALW measures (‘RevCon3’ for short) by organising:

  • 4 thematic SALW conferences between April and November 2017, each with some 40 relevant experts, on:
    • tracing and stockpiling in conflict and post-conflict situations
    • links with the UN’s sustainable development goals 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 5 (gender equality)
    • recent developments in manufacture, technology and design
    • synergies between the UN and other measures;
  • 5 regional conferences on the same 4 themes between June 2017 and February 2018 with experts from national governments and regional organisations;
  • an analysis of national reports implementing the UN measures;
  • a sponsorship programme for participating countries with limited funds and technical support for the RevCon3 presidency;
  • outreach through press statements and various events.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is responsible for ensuring that the EU decision, which has a budget of €2.8 million, is implemented.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?

It has applied since 3 April 2017.

BACKGROUND

  • 20 July 2001: the UN programme of action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in SALW in all its aspects (known as the ‘UN programme of action’) is adopted.
  • 8 December 2005: the UN General Assembly adopts the international instrument to enable states to identify and trace, in a timely and reliable manner, illicit SALW (known as the ‘International Tracing Instrument’).
  • For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

Small arms: revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, submachine guns, assault rifles, and light machine guns.
Light weapons: heavy machine guns, portable anti-aircraft guns, mortars, ammunition, shells, hand grenades, landmines and explosives.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/633 of 3 April 2017 in support of the United Nations programme of action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (OJ L 90, 4.4.2017, pp. 12-21)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1908 of 22 October 2015 in support of a global reporting mechanism on illicit small arms and light weapons and other illicit conventional weapons and ammunition to reduce the risk of their illicit trade (‘iTrace II’) (OJ L 278, 23.10.2015, pp. 15-25)

Council Decision 2011/428/CFSP of 18 July 2011 in support of United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs activities to implement the United Nations programme of actions to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (OJ L 188, 19.7.2011, pp. 37-41)

Council Joint Action 2008/113/CFSP of 12 February 2008 in support of the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the framework of the EU strategy to combat the illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition (OJ L 40, 14.2.2008, pp. 16-19)

Council Joint Action 2002/589/CFSP of 12 July 2002 on the European Unions contribution to combating the destabilising accumulation and spread of small arms and light weapons and repealing Joint Action 1999/34/CFSP (OJ L 191, 19.7.2002, pp. 1-4)

last update 28.02.2019

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