Analysis of National Reports: Implementation of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and the International Tracing Instrument in 2009–10 (Occasional Paper 28)

Sarah Parker
Occasional Paper

The Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA) was adopted in 2001, and since then a total of 584 national reports have been submitted by signatories, providing information on how they have implemented the recommendations of the agreement.

Analysis of National Reports: Implementation of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and the International Tracing Instrument in 2009–10 provides a comprehensive analysis of information provided by states on the themes selected for consideration at the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States (BMS4) to consider the implementation of the PoA, and gives an overview of the outcomes of BMS4.

These themes are: the prevention and combat of illicit trade in small arms and light weapons across borders; international cooperation and assistance; strengthening of the follow-up mechanism of the Programme of Action; and implementation of the International Tracing Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (ITI).

“National reports on PoA implementation may have some shortcomings, but it is important that we give them our close attention,” said Sarah Parker, the Occasional Paper’s author and a Senior Researcher at the Small Arms Survey. “Thirty-four countries have not yet provided a single report, and should make this a priority. Twenty-eight states have reported just once. And of the 192 UN member states, just 107 have issued a report during the past two years.”

Eric Berman, Managing Director of the Small Arms Survey, urged that all states should strive to submit their next national reports well in advance of the Second Review Conference scheduled for July 2012 to promote and assess PoA implementation.

'Although national reports on PoA implementation do not provide a complete or, in many instances, even a satisfactory picture of implementation, they remain the most important and, in some instances, the only source of information on states’ implementation efforts,' Berman said.

Analysis of National Reports 2009–10, the 28th Occasional Paper from the Small Arms Survey, was released to coincide with the Open-ended Meeting of Governmental Experts on the Implementation of the Programme of Action at the UN in New York. This report will help to inform discussion around implementation challenges and opportunities in the specific area of marking, record-keeping and tracing, and related issues of national and regional frameworks and international assistance.

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Keywords: PoA Programme of Action ITI International Tracing Instrument Reporting