Talks intensify as UN forum on illicit trade of small arms enters final stretch

Talks intensify as UN forum on illicit trade of small arms enters final stretch

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With a United Nations forum on the illegal trade in small arms entering its final stretch, UN officials said in New York today that intensive negotiations on a global action plan were yielding results but more work needed to be done to resolve differences on parts of the text.

The United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects "again went into a night session last evening, as negotiations intensified on the revised Programme of Action," spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters at UN Headquarters. "Considerable progress has been made, but there are still a number of paragraphs to be agreed on."

UN disarmament officials told the UN News Service that the talks had reached their crux, with negotiators aiming to tackle the most difficult issues before the close of the two-week forum on Friday.

The Conference President, Ambassador Camilo Reyes of Colombia, is scheduled to report on the results of the talks tomorrow at noon.

Among the side events at the conference, a gun sculpture exhibit, "Transforming Arms into Ploughshares," opened today at UN Headquarters featuring works made from parts of weapons used during Mozambique's civil war.