Greater efforts needed to deny access to illegal weapons and ammunition

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UNMAS cut up weapons in close collaboration with the National Commission of Small Arms and Light Weapons of Cote d’Ivoire (COMNAT-CI). Photo: UNOCI

Further measures are needed to combat the proliferation of illicit weapons around the world, according to the UN Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a Security Council debate on small arms and light weapons.

The UN estimates that more than 50,000 men, women and children are killed each year as a direct consequence of these armaments.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.

Over the last decade, there have been over 250 conflicts globally.

The UN chief said the diversion of weaponry, including from government stockpiles, is further fuelling conflict.

This, he warned, allows rebels, gangs, criminal organizations, pirates, terrorist groups and insurgents to bolster their firepower.

An Arms Trade Treaty was designed to help advance international peace and security, reduce human suffering, and promote transparency and responsible action by States.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said this treaty is critical to removing the tools for armed conflict.

The causes of conflict are complex. However, weapons and ammunition – and their storage facilities – are physical commodities. Guns can be licensed, marked, or confiscated; ammunition can be tracked, removed, or destroyed; and depots can be guarded, cleared, or secured.

The UN chief also told members of the Security Council that the global community needs to ensure that the use of weapons and ammunition by national security forces conforms with commitments under global treaties.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations.

Duration:  1’15″

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