Zambia has backed the convening of a United Nations conference to discuss an international agreement to regulate trade in small arms and light weapons, saying uncontrolled trade in such arms threatened the country’s security and social development.
“Zambia continues to face difficulties in controlling the inflow of small arms and light weapons,” Kalombo T. Mwansa, Zambia’s Minister of Defence, told the high-level debate of the General Assembly in New York yesterday.
“It is in this regard that we strongly support the convening of the United Nations Conference in 2012 to establish legally binding international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms with specific measures against defaulters,” Mr. Mwansa said.
In 2006, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to establish a group of governmental experts to look into “the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for a comprehensive, legally binding instrument establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.”
The report of that group, concluded in 2008, prompted the General Assembly to start discussions focused on a possible arms trade treaty, open to all Member States, according to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).