Sponsored by Saudi Arabia, UN Launches Project to Combat Illicit Weaponry Trade

Sponsored by Saudi Arabia, UN Launches Project to Combat Illicit Weaponry Trade

The United Nations launched last night ajoint project, funded by Saudi Arabia and Russia, aimed attackling terrorism, organized crime and the illicit trade in small armsand light weapons in the Central Asian region.

The project seeks to strengthen criminaljustice responses to prevent and combat the illicit trade in small arms andlight weapons and to disrupt the illicit supply of these weapons to terroristgroups.

In his opening remarks, theUnder-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office,Vladimir Voronkov, stated that small and light weapons have become anincreasingly preferred weapon of many terrorist groups worldwide for theircheapness, accessibility, transfer, concealment and use.

He emphasized that the relationship betweenterrorism and organized crime, including the illicit trade in small arms andlight weapons, constitutes a serious threat to international peace and securityand represents an obstacle to sustainable development and a threat to the ruleof law.

For his part, the permanent member of theKingdom of Saudi Arabia's Mission to the United Nations, Counselor Abdul MajeedAl-Babtain, affirmed in the Kingdom's speech on this occasion that the problemof the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and transferring them intoterrorist groups is a global concern. He pointed out that the complexity indealing with the relationship between weapons, organized crime and terrorism isreflected in the multidimensional nature of this threat, pointing out that theKingdom calls for taking many measures in order to establish preventivemechanisms and a successful response.

The project, funded by Russia and SaudiArabia, supports the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-TerrorismStrategy, Security Council Resolution 2370 (2017), the MadridGuidelines and the Firearms Protocol to the United Nations Conventionagainst Transnational Crime, among other international legal instruments. The project will be implemented in 2020-2021 by the United NationsCenter for Counter-Terrorism and the United Nations Office on Drugs andCrime, through the Global Firearms Program, in a close cooperation with theExecutive Directorate of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee(CTED) and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), as wellas the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

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