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United Nations Register Of Conventional Arms

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make available a copy of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms; and if he will make a statement. [15911]

A copy of the UN Secretary-General's report has been placed in the Libraries of the House. We are disappointed that the 1997 Group of Experts reviewing the operation and development of the UN Arms Register was unable to agree any substantive measures to expand or strengthen the Register. Our aims remain clear: to encourage increased participation by UN member states; to broaden the scope of the Register by including military holdings and procurement from national production on the same basis as imports and exports; to expand current categories of equipment to include weapons of lesser capability; and to encourage the provision of details of the type of equipment transferred. We shall continue to use both bilateral and multilateral contacts to encourage States to work towards these goals. We welcome the Group of Experts' agreement on recommendations for several technical adjustments. We fully endorse these recommendations and urge other States to do the same.