By Araya Wongwan & Alexander Temple
Promoting PoA and ITI in the Arab World’ was a side event for the BMS6, hosted by the German Mission and organized by Permanent Peace Movement, on June 8th 2016. It was a successful meeting, attended by more than eight Arab states.
Nicolas Florquin, from the Small Arms Survey, opened the panel by discussing a brief case study on North Africa and how the Arab nation can use PoA and ITI as relevant instruments to combat diversion. Florquin went into detail describing the three types of domestic diversions. These diversion could be made possible through the utilization of provisions covering a weapons entire life cycle, from manufacturing all the way to disposal. The Panel was followed by Owen Green, from Bradford University, discussing the relevance of the UNPoA and ITI to the Arab Region. He emphasizes how the Arab countries should use the global framework in small arms control to operate them at a national level, adjusting and implementing the mechanisms according to the context of each region.
Fadi Abi Allam, from the Permanent Peace Movement, also added how many countries are unaware of the resources from civil societies to help the countries strengthen arms control. He wants the Arab states to understand that grassroot organizations are not trying to interfere with the individual's’ rights to self-defense but rather to control and to provide safety and security to the citizens. In addition, he wants to encourage each participating Arab state to utilize the resources from the civil society and for the media as well as the civil society organizations to demand more control and safety of small arms and light weapons.
Lastly Fadi Achaia, from The League of Arab States, shared the regional’s group ongoing efforts and cooperation to combat the illicit trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs). This cooperation has been made possible through the establishment of national points of contact. Moreover, he presents an optimistic view for greater and regular communication amongst member states in the future. Mr. Achaia highlighted how important instruments such as the PoA are to the Middle East region, describing how illegal arms possession exacerbates violence and civilian deaths in the region. Instruments, such as the PoA, help address the multi dimensional problems of human rights and arms control.
Overall the side event was a highly successful event to promote the Program of Action and International Tracing Instrument in the Arab World. The advocacy for stricter control of small arms and light weapons would assist the region towards meeting the objectives of sustainable development goal 16.
Araya Wongwan - email@example.com
Alexander Temple - firstname.lastname@example.org