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Taking stock of action on the illicit small arms trade: Small Arms Survey 2020 online forum


The year 2019 saw the 20th anniversary of the Small Arms Survey. We are very proud of our achievements over these two decades, and are humbled by the impact our work has had on international policy debates, expert circles, as well as the wider public through media. With this milestone, we wish to express our gratitude for the collaboration with partners and for the continued support of our donors. We also want to mark the occasion with a reflection on 20 years of efforts by the Survey, partners, and other colleagues working to tackle the illicit small arms trade.

The seventh biennial meeting of states to consider the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects  (PoA BMS7) has been postponed from 15–19 June 2020 until 2021. This is due to the extraordinary situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic; however, the challenges posed by the illicit circulation of small arms have not diminished with this global health crisis.

Therefore, the Small Arms Survey would like to contribute to maintaining a robust public conversation by organizing an online forum: ‘Taking stock of action on the illicit small arms trade’.

This forum will consist of a series of virtual events to exchange knowledge on illicit small arms proliferation and share effective measures to tackle the illicit small arms trade in all its aspects. Taking stock of action on the illicit small arms trade will bring together UN agencies, international organizations, as well as governmental and non-governmental experts to reflect on the lessons learned from 20 years of implementing the PoA—and 20 years of existence of the Small Arms Survey—and the new challenges and opportunities for addressing the illicit small arms trade in the time of Covid-19.

Though invite-only, updates from the forum will be posted on our Medium blog.