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UN Conference on Small Arms

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of why it was not possible to get an agreement on stricter controls at the UN Conference on Small Arms; what opportunities there are for revisiting this issue; and if she will make a statement. (86517)

It was very disappointing that the UN Small Arms Review Conference failed to agree an outcome document, particularly as the UK had succeeded in agreeing a consensus text on the need for work at the national, regional and global levels to strengthen transfer controls. Fortunately, as the achievement of a consensus text indicates, all countries now recognise the need to address the issue of transfer controls within the UN Programme of Action. Over 100 states at the Review Conference expressed support for strengthening transfer controls. The UK will continue to work with all states to build support for agreement on common guidelines for small arms and light weapons transfers, building on the progress made at regional level in the past three years under the UK’s Transfer Controls Initiative. The UK is also keen to work with Canada on its proposal for an informal meeting of states in 2007 focused on transfer controls.