Vision GRAM-International at the Sixth Biennial Meeting of the States (BMS6)

BMS6 Day 2: United Nations, New York

June 7, 2016

IMG_3526On the second day of BMS6, country representatives continued to discuss the Program of Action and gave their input on what should be done to combat Small Arms and Light Weapons.

Togo mentioned that they were able to strengthen their border control in the past few years, but they would like to call for international assistance. They have established a public awareness project with neighboring countries, and are currently working towards educating the public and emphasizing the need not to resort to violence. Namibia mentioned the point that weapons cannot be fired without a powder and therefore, it is important that the two aren’t separated from each other when considering the PoA. The United States brought up the point that markings will only be useful if successful records are also kept. Israel brought up their concern that new technologies are being used by terrorist groups and mentioned the need to continuously reassess and update the PoA in accordance with advancements.

Gary Fleetwood from the National Crime Commission in Australia mentioned several key points regarding the marking of small arms and light weapons in Australia. Some issues involving the marking of weapons include taking clear pictures of firearms, the complications involved with DNA tracing, a lack of training in identifying firearms, incorrect/generic designations submitted and incorrect manufacturer names. Firearms must be correctly identified before being destroyed. The strongest tool we have today is digital imagery (images which are clear and include the serial number and model of firearm). Some emerging trends include 3D technology, modularity in firearm design, and liquid molding of firearm receivers. Even with adequate resources, it is difficult for Australia to trace small arms and light weapons in a timely manner.

Interpol presented 3 tools which can be used strategically to implement the PoA. These include the Illicit Arms Records and Tracing Management Systems (iARMS), the Interpol Ballistics Information Network (BIN), which allows intelligence and law enforcement agencies to find connections between crimes, and Interpol Firearms Reference Table (FRT), which contains more than 250,000 firearms references. Interpol recommends that these tools be used globally in order to successfully combat small arms and light weapons.

                                                                                                                                                     Mahvish, Assistant Vision GRAM-International



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