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Collaboration Against Illicit Small Arms Improves

Collaboration Against Illicit Small Arms Improves, UN Disarmament Chief Tells Security Council

Cooperation among States in observing weapons sanctions and tracing the movement of small arms has improved, but more needs to be done to establish the links between illicit weapons and natural resources contraband, the United Nations disarmament chief said today.

As he presented the Secretary-General's report on small arms and light weapons to the Security Council, Under-Secretary-General Nobuyasu Abe said the report gave an overview of the ways in which the Security Council was dealing with the question of illicit trade in these weapons.

"The increasingly vigorous actions recently taken by the Security Council with respect to the implementation of sanctions and arms embargoes are particularly encouraging," he said.

An important development was establishing monitoring mechanisms, assessing sanctions implementation and providing technical advice to the Council's sanctions committees, he said. Equally noteworthy was the Council's adoption of measures to punish sanctions violators and their supporters.

The Council's increased attention to the specific needs of women and children in post-conflict disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants was commendable as thousands of children were demobilized in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Haiti, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mr. Abe said.

On the other hand, more needed to be done in some areas, such as establishing "the links between illicit small arms and light weapons and the illicit exploitation of natural and other resources," giving greater support for the reintegration of former combatants into their communities, supporting the establishment of the Small Arms Advisory Service and encouraging more interaction between the Council and the General Assembly on these matters, he said.

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