Skip to main content

Small Arms

Volume 403: debated on Monday 10 March 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement about the conference on small arms proliferation attended by representatives of her Department on 14 to 15 January. [101365]

On 14 and 15 January a conference on Strengthening Export Controls of Small Arms and Light Weapons: Implementing the UN Programme of Action was held at Lancaster House. The Conference was organised by my Department, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence, and was funded from the Global Conflict Prevention Pool. I gave the opening address to delegates. The Conference brought together representatives of 49 States that produce or trade small arms and light weapons, as well as representatives of international and non-governmental organisations, in order to discuss strengthening controls on exports and transfers of small arms and light weapons (SALW).Some consensus on strengthening export controls had been achieved during the 2001 UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its aspects, and the objective of the Lancaster House conference was to make further progress on this issue. Participants discussed better implementation and strengthening of existing export controls and controlling brokers and trafficking of SALW. The Conference identified those areas where there is now considerable consensus and those requiring further work. A full report of the Conference will be published shortly.

We will use the further opportunity to achieve greater consensus on strengthening export controls in the margins of the UN Biennial Meeting of States in July 2003.