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Illicit Weapons Report Gives Guidelines On Tracing

Key Report On Illicit Weapons Gives Guidelines On Tracing And Information Exchange

New York, Jul 12 2005 6:00PM

The draft text of an international instrument to help United Nations Member States identify, trace and eliminate illicit trading in small arms and light weapons has been prepared for formal submission to the next General Assembly, starting in September.

States would choose their own methods, but, according to the draft, would mark weapons during manufacture and at importation "on an exposed surface, conspicuous without technical aids or tools, easily recognizable, readable, durable and, as far as technically possible, recoverable."

Governments would also maintain accurate and comprehensive records of all marked small arms and light weapons in their territory, keeping manufacturing records for at least 30 years and import-export records for at least 20 years.

"States will ensure that they are capable of undertaking traces and responding to tracing requests in accordance with the requirements of this instrument" and, on receiving information in this context, will respect all restrictions placed on its use, it said.

Where appropriate, States will cooperate with the UN and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to implement the instrument, the draft said.

The draft was written in 58 meetings by a 15-member panel called Open-ended Working Group to Negotiate an International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons.

Small arms include revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, sub-machine guns, assault rifles and light machine guns, the draft said, while light weapons are designed for use by a two- or three-person crew, although some may be carried and used by a single person.

Light weapons include heavy machine guns, recoilless rifles, portable anti-aircraft guns, portable anti-tank guns, portable launchers of various types and mortars of a calibre of less than 100 millimetres, it said.


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