The Sixth Biennial Meeting of States (BMS6) was the final meeting before the Third Review Conference of the UN Small Arms Programme of Action (PoA), scheduled for June 2018, and the first since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Taking account of the SDGs and other new developments, the main task for BMS6 was to prepare the ground for the Review Conference.
The UN Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons (PoA) was adopted in 2001 to provide a framework for activities to counter the illicit trade in such arms. At its Second Review Conference in New York—from 27 August – 7 September 2012— the PoA has brought together member states, expert advisors, and NGOs to review the progress made in its implementation.
This Briefing Paper examines future policy directions for the 2001 UN Programme of Action on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. It assesses the achievements and short-comings of the Programme of Action in its first ten years, noting the difficulties encountered in effectively supporting, monitoring, and assessing implementation, and the changing context in which it now exists.
United Nations Member States will meet in New York this week for the UN Preparatory Committee for the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA PrepCom). The objective of this meeting is to prepare the agenda for the Second PoA Review Conference (to be held in August and September), which will assess progress made in meeting the wide-ranging commitments laid out by the PoA to address the problem of small arms proliferation and misuse.
Since the adoption of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA) in 2001, more than 80 per cent of UN member states have submitted at least one PoA national report on their implementation of the instrument. But many of these reports leave much to be desired.
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.