Delivered by: Major General Salem Al Kaabi, Chief of Military Judiciary of the Armed Forces
Check against delivery.
Thank you for chairing this meeting and I congratulate Ecuador on their successful presidency of the Council this month. I would also like to thank the USG Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, as well as Ms. Cécile Aptel, and Ms. Fulid Motota, for their valuable briefings.
The United Arab Emirates aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by Egypt on behalf of the Arab Group.
The issue of diversion, illicit trafficking, and misuse of small arms and light weapons remains one of the most critical global challenges. It impacts international peace and security and exacerbates armed conflicts, violence, crime, and terrorism. According to the UN Secretary-General, small arms and light weapons and their ammunition are the main cause of violent deaths around the world, in conflict and non-conflict settings.
The situation is even more concerning as more than a billion small arms and light weapons are in circulation today. This is in addition to approximately 8 million new weapons that are being manufactured each year.
The abundance of these weapons makes them difficult to trace and track, and therefore more vulnerable to diversion and use by illegal groups, particularly in armed conflict situations. Such threats are increasing due to advances in technology, such as 3D printing and the Dark Web. There is a need to a more effective controls against the diversion, proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.
As such, it is important to carefully consider the observations and recommendations of the Secretary-General in his New Agenda for Peace and his reports addressing the scourge of illicit arms flows, including his latest report.
In the context of our meeting today, I would like to share some points with you to inform our deliberations:
First, the Security Council, within its mandate, must continue to monitor trends of the illicit use, flow, and diversion of small arms and light weapons. We value the support provided by the panels of experts supporting the Council’s sanctions committees on this matter and stress the need to update and improve the Council’s methods in monitoring these developments to adapt to the new methods used to divert and use these weapons.
The Security Council could benefit from utilizing modern technology in mandates and resolutions, to control or prohibit the flow of weapons. While we realize that such use of technology is accompanied by many challenges, there are some technologies that can enhance the monitoring of weapons movements, such as surveillance technology via satellites or drones, which can be used to monitor large geographical areas for the movement of illicit weapons and identify illegal manufacturing sites, with the consent of the countries concerned.
Second, combating the illicit flow of arms requires member states to adhere to all arms embargo resolutions adopted by the Council in coordination with the sanctions committees’ and the Council’s panels of experts, wherever appropriate. States with limited capacity may face challenges to fully implement relevant Security Council resolutions.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that these resolutions are clear, consistent, and that they consider the specific context of each conflict or situation that necessitates such a prohibition. When the Council considers renewing the mandate of any peacekeeping mission in an arms embargo area, opportunities for peace operations to provide support to host governments to combat the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons should be explored.
Third, coordination, cooperation, and the exchange of information and expertise at regional and international levels remain indispensable to address the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons, especially across borders. While the existing efforts and legal frameworks to address this phenomenon are imperative at the international level, local and regional contexts and concerns must be considered, and strategies must be developed that respond to the challenges specific to each country or region. In this context, we commend the various initiatives and frameworks developed by various regional organizations around the world, such as the African Union’s Silencing the Guns initiative. It is also imperative to enhance support and build the capabilities of states suffering from this challenge, including by providing them with expertise and equipment that would enable them to secure their borders and effectively monitor the illicit flow of weapons.
In conclusion, studies on small arms and light weapons must include information and analysis on the impact of these weapons on women and girls, especially regarding violence committed against them using these weapons, whether in situations of armed conflict or other situations. This is important to ensure that strategies seeking to reduce the proliferation of small arms and light weapons consider programs and policies focused on the protection of women and girls. On the other hand, it is also important to empower women and ensure their full, equal, and meaningful participation in efforts to prevent and respond to the threats of these weapons.
Thank you, Madam President.