The head of disarmament says small arms are a threat to peace and security – a global issue

Izumi Nakamitsu was briefing the Security Council on the threat posed by the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons in the context of UN peacekeeping operations.

According to him, these weapons are “a definite cause of disturbing peace and security” and “a deeply worrying situation for vulnerable populations already in conflict”.

Peace campaign

Ms Nakamitsu pointed to the growing number of resolutions on arms and ammunition management, saying it “indicates the role of the United Nations in helping control arms to maintain and maintain peace.”

He described the threat of inadequate maintenance stockpiles as “a serious source of serious humanitarian danger and a known source of weapons deviation.”

The High Representative encouraged the Council to include this issue as a conflict prevention measure.

Children and new technologies

Mrs Nakamitsu told council members that “children continue to be victims of armed conflict”, which is often enabled and prolonged by the wide availability of weapons.

“Thus, all small arms and light weapons control initiatives should be conducted with due regard to their potential impact on children’s rights and vice versa,” he added.

He also raises new issues, which demand the attention of the Security Council and member states.

He said new technologies that allow small arms production “could create new challenges and opportunities for the effectiveness of small arms control systems”, and “should be taken seriously.”

He points to the purchase of weapons through so-called DarkNet and online platforms, especially changes in their parts and components, which significantly increases the use of postal and courier services, making identification and crime investigations more difficult.


In her briefing, Ms. Nakamitsu highlighted two initiatives launched by the United Nations.

First, the partners of the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) group, who are developing guidelines on country-level approaches. Second, Saving Lives Entity (SALIENT), which has started allocating grants to solve this problem.

He assured that the United Nations would continue to support the universalization of the Firearms Protocol and the Arms Trade Treaty and the full implementation of instruments such as programs and international tracing instruments on small arms.

Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia and the Pacific will support the African Union Commission’s decision to extend the Master Roadmap for the practical implementation of gun and other regional initiatives by 2030.

The council was also briefed by the Executive Secretary of the Regional Center for Small Arms in the Great Lakes, Horn of Africa and Border States (RECSA), Lieutenant General Badreldin Elamin Abdelgadir, and David Lochhead, a senior researcher on small arms surveys.

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