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14.4.2021 : 22:09 : +0200


New Research Note: Regional Organizations and the PoA

Countering the illicit trade in small arms lends itself to regional action. In many countries, small arms circulate widely beyond state control. National governments are challenged by cross-border demand for weapons, lucrative markets for traffickers, and ineffective national laws to regulate brokering and trafficking of small arms across state lines. These problems all call for regional approaches.

The UN Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons (PoA) provides the framework for activities to counter the illicit trade in such arms. Having recognized the regional dimension of small arms trafficking, UN members have called on regional organizations to be part of the solution.

Regional organizations usually possess important expertise and a sound understanding of cultural and political contexts, priorities, and sensitivities. This knowledge, along with regional preferences for local solutions, positions them to detect early warning signs of burgeoning and escalating conflict, help build confidence, and serve as credible and effective mediators to reduce or resolve tensions.

A new Research Note offers a concise overview of the recent Small Arms Survey handbook: Regional Organizations and the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms (PoA). The Handbook gives details of 52 regional organizations that undertake work relevant to the PoA, and examines 19 PoA activities that refer to regional organizations specifically or to regional-level action. The handbook  has a dual purpose, actively supporting implementation while providing a useful reference for ongoing use.


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