Small Arms and Light Weapons

The Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons

The illicit trade of small and light weapons, their excessive accumulation and wide availability contribute to deepen conflicts, has serious security, economic, social and humanitarian implications and affects the States capacity to control crime and terrorism related phenomena.

The Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects was agreed In 2001, within the framework of the United Nations. It is an instrument containing political commitments that promote the adoption of measures in this field at the national, regional and global levels and contains specific elements to improve the legislation and control countrywide, and to promote cooperation and assistance worldwide.

On  April 2nd 2013, the United Nations General Assembly approved the text of the Arms Trade Treaty, as a result of the Final Conference on the subject held in New York between the 18th and 28th of March. This General Assembly decision (Resolution A / RES / 67 / 234B), becomes a milestone in the control of the trade of conventional arms, as it is a legally binding instrument which provides international standards for the implementation of the said aspect.

Colombia vis-a- vis  the Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons

As a country deeply affected by the problem of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, this is an issue of fundamental importance for Colombia. Therefore, it has promoted an approach in facing this problem at the global, regional and sub-regional levels under the following precepts:

  • Criminalization of illegal possession and illicit trade in small arms and light weapons
  • Inter-agency and international cooperation
  • Inclusion of the prohibition of transfer to non-state actors

Colombia has worked hard to strengthen the Programme of Action and to promote its effective implementation, as well as the Tracing Instrument adopted in 2005.

Annually, Colombia submits to the General Assembly, jointly with Japan and South Africa, the draft resolution on “The Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” in which States reaffirm the importance of the implementation of the Programme in order to promote peace, reconciliation, protection to the human life and the promotion of sustainable development.

Regarding the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the President of the Republic, signed this instrument on September 24, 2013, within the framework of his participation in the High Level Segment of the General Assembly of the 68th Assembly of the United Nations. The bill for the domestic ratification process of this instrument is under consideration by the Colombian Congress.

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