Guyana supports UN plan of action to knock out trade in small arms
Guyana has fully supported the implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons (SALW) in all its aspects.
Representing Guyana at the fourth Biennial Meeting of States at the UN Headquarters in New York, Chargé d’ affaires of the Guyana Permanent Mission to the United Nations, George Talbot, said that the programme is “a vital multilateral instrument in addressing global challenges through a cohesive and co-ordinated approach,” and that Guyana was fully committed to its implementation.
This meeting was part of the follow-up process to the UN 2001 Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, during which member states adopted the Programme of Action on SALW.
Last week’s meeting focused on preventing the illicit trade, international co-operation and assistance among other issues.
In his presentation to the meeting, Talbot said that Guyana in recent times had suffered “increased levels of crime and violence linked to the illicit trafficking in these arms. Such trafficking is intimately interwoven with the illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, and with trans-national organised crime.”
He stressed the importance of co-operation among States, so as to ensure co-ordination at all levels. He also stressed the importance of assistance for strengthening national capacities.
For countries to fully implement their commitments under the Programme of Action, co-operation and assistance would be required, Talbot said. He added that true co-operation among relevant stakeholders at the bilateral and regional levels was also required.
He emphasised additionally, support to and through regional implementing mechanisms would be an important complement to the co-operation provided to national authorities.
Talbot explained that while Guyana has made progress, the country faces continuing challenges in implementation, as well as the burden on socio-economic development.
He also called for the provision of increased international financial and technical assistance.
“The Government of Guyana has made serious efforts in the implementation of the POA and against gun related crime but we face continuing challenges,” said Talbot.
“Not least being the burden on our socio economic development which the diversion of resources from our healthcare, education or welfare budgets to address challenges from illicit SALW entails.
We therefore call for the provision of increased international financial and technical assistance and support to developing countries so as to assist in training, enforcement and capacity building.”
He joined CARICOM in a call for the opening of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) office in Barbados, “so as to reinforce the efforts of the states in the region in their struggle against the interrelated scourges of drugs, violent crime and the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.”