We thank Mexico for convening today’s meeting, and to the briefers for their insightful introductions.
In 2015, Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, said that the widespread availability of small arms and light weapons was a factor in over 250 conflicts, leading to more than 50,000 deaths each year and record levels of displacement. Today, over six years since the Council’s last Resolution on SALW, and nearly seven years since the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty, the death toll is four times as high, with over 200,000 lives lost to small arms and light weapons and their ammunition every year.
The destabilizing accumulation, illicit transfer and misuse of small arms and light weapons and their ammunition continues to initiate, sustain and exacerbate armed conflict and pervasive crime globally.
For Norway, as a Member of the Security Council, it is paramount to contribute to reduce the human suffering linked to trafficking and illicit trade of SALW.
Firstly, we must continue to build on the success and momentum of recent processes such as BMS7 (of the UNPoA on SALW) and CSP7 (of the Arms Trade Treaty) in order to strengthen international norms on trafficking and illicit trade in SALW and their ammunition. We particularly welcome the focus of this year’s CSP7 on ensuring efficient stockpile management.
Secondly, it is critical that we work towards universalization of the Arms Trade Treaty. We strongly believe that the Treaty can strengthen export controls and limit the trafficking and illicit trade in SALW with the end goal of reducing human suffering.
Thirdly, in order to break silos and combat a fragmented approach, Norway encourages all Member States to support the Secretary-General's desire to mainstream small arms measures in other thematic areas, including human rights, counter-terrorism, organized crime, peacekeeping, and humanitarian assistance.
Fourthly, we must take steps to ensure the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in small arms control and recognize the gendered impacts of the illicit trade in SALW. A gender responsive small arms control can help us better address this threat to international peace and security.
Finally, we are particularly concerned about the suffering and insecurity caused to children. In areas where illicit arms and ammunition are common, children are more vulnerable to injury, death, displacement, as well as to recruitment and use in armed conflict.
The Council should consider measures which can save lives by curbing the illicit trade in SALW and their ammunition.