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The effective control of small arms should unite us all: UK statement at the UN Security Council

Thank you, President. We’re grateful to Ecuador for convening this important meeting. And I also thank USG Nakamitsu, Ms Aptel and Ms Mutota for their valuable briefings. 

President, the diversion and misuse of small arms has an all too real human cost, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives every year. 

It threatens security and sustainable development, and fuels conflict, crime, and terrorism. So let me make four points for this debate. 

First, we must accelerate our collective work to reduce these threats in the coming year. At the Fourth Review Conference at the UN Programme of Action in June, we look forward to building on conclusions from the Biennial Meeting of States Parties in 2022. 

Improving how we organise cooperation on small arms and establishing a technical expert group to explore the impact of new technologies are two important steps. 

Given the overlap between work on small arms and conventional ammunition, we were pleased that the new Global Framework on Through-life Conventional Ammunition Management was endorsed by the First Committee. We hope to see progress on its development in 2024.

Second, the differentiated gender impacts of small arms mean we need to include a Women, Peace and Security perspective in our collective efforts. We are committed to bolstering women’s participation in processes to tackle small arms and eradicate gender-based violence. 

The United Kingdom’s Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan reflects this. It includes commitments to improve our data collection on the gendered impacts of small arms policy and control.

Third, we should support regional and sub-regional approaches to small arms challenges. As such, the United Kingdom is proud to provide funding for the implementation of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap.

And finally, we remain committed to the full implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty and we encourage all states to join. The Treaty has the power to prevent unregulated and irresponsible arms transfers and their diversion. Next year’s tenth anniversary of its signing is a moment to redouble our efforts.

President, the effective control of small arms should unite us all. We look forward to working with other Member States to advance progress in this area.

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