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Bahrain participates in anti-illicit arms trade conference
11 : 27 AM - 20/03/2018
New York, Mar. 20 (BNA): Bahrain's Permanent Representative to the United Nations pointed out that in view of the disastrous effects following the unprecedented increase on the illicit supply of small arms and light weapons in the Arab region has on the security, humanitarian and economic levels, the Arab League is paying increasing attention to the issues of combating trade and illicit supply of small arms and light weapons.
This was stated in a speech delivered by the Permanent Representative, Jamal Fares Alrowaiei, on behalf of the Arab Group on Monday, March 19th 2018, during the start of the work of the Preparatory Committee for the Third Review Conference on the Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, being held at the UN headquarters in New York on March 19-23.

He added that some governments seem to be resorting to equip terrorist groups with weapons or finance them to prolong arm conflicts and achieve political objectives that aim to violate the simplest rules of the international law and the UN Charter.

He noted on behalf of the Group that any measures and tools used to build confidence and promote the cooperation among nations of the world to eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons should not contradict the legitimate rights of self-defence, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, in regards to the acquisition and purchase of the conventional weapons for this purpose.

The Kingdom's Permanent Representative also expressed the Group’s hope that the Political Declaration in the final doctrine of the conference will be a pledge by all states to ban the supply of weapons to entities that do not have an official authorization by the government of the importing State. This is in addition to the consideration of a binding international agreement in this matter in order to fill one of the most significant gaps in this field.

He further stressed the keenness of the Arab Group to enhance international cooperation and technical assistance to implement the Program of Action, especially in the fields of cargo security and border control, without any interference in the sovereignty of states.

Alrowaie also referred to the need to differentiate between the combat against the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, which is the main objective of the Program of Action in this regard, and the legitimate trade in conventional weapons among governments in accordance with their respective sovereign assessments and the nature of the security threats against them.

Concluding his speech, the ambassador affirmed the cooperation of the Arab Group as well as their commitment to exert efforts in this field to reach positive consensus results for all member states.


BNA 0823 GMT 2018/03/20

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