New York, New York
September 16, 2021
Thank you, Mr. Ambassador.
To reduce armed violence facilitated by the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, all states need to implement the UN Program of Action on small arms and light weapons and its complementary International Tracing Instrument. The United States remains committed to implementing both and to assisting others in doing so.
The current framework of instruments at the global and regional levels offers a full range of measures that, if implemented, would make significant contributions to international efforts to combat illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons. However, at the 7th Biennial Meeting of States on the Program of Action in July, numerous Member States and UNODA focused on the uneven implementation. This is discouraging given the amount of time that has transpired since the Program of Action was adopted in 2001 and the resources that the international community has devoted to this issue over the past 20 years.
The Security Council maintains a unique set of tools to combat the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons, but sanctions and arms embargoes are only effective if they are effectively implemented. UN reporting often highlights the lax implementation or violations of UN sanctions and arms embargoes. We applaud the efforts of the regional and sub-regional levels that states have taken to combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.
And finally, we call on all states to implement commitments to combat illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons. This problem continues to prevent peace and development, and fuels conflict in many regions of the world. The United States stands ready to assist states in meeting their commitments in this regard.