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Arms Export Controls

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what proposals on strengthening arms export controls the Government intends to make at the UN Biennial Meeting of states in July. [117753]

I have been asked to reply.The UK Government is committed to building on the useful discussions that took place at the Lancaster House Conference on strengthening Export Controls on Small Arms and Light Weapons held at Lancaster House on 14–15 January 2003. The format of the Biennial Meeting (New York, 7–11 July) which will focus on small arms, does not allow for states to make substantive proposals. The aim of the meeting is to gather support for a regionally based process to share understanding on national implementation of export controls of small arms, with the aim of reporting back findings at the 2005 Biennial Meeting. But it will be a useful opportunity to take this work forward with partners within the framework of the UN. The UK is planning a side meeting on 8 July 2003 to discuss working in partnership and ways of exchanging information. Our objective is to strengthen consensus on the need for regulation of small arms transfers. Continuing this work within the framework of the UN is particularly important, and the UK is committed to the process.