PRESS RELEASE : UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament Holds Seminar on Trade and Trafficking of Illicit Conventional Ammunition

Bangkok, 19 March 2019 – As part of its region-wide initiative to support States with the safe and secure management of conventional ammunition, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) is organizing the Southeast Asia Regional Outreach Seminar on Trade and Trafficking of Illicit Conventional Ammunition, in Bangkok, Thailand, on 20-22 March 2019.

In response to the challenges posed by unsecured or poorly managed national ammunition stockpiles, the Seminar aims to foster regional dialogue between Southeast Asian States on matters of conventional ammunition, and provide a forum to share practices and engage with experts on how to address these challenges. Participants will examine current regional trends of illicit trafficking of ammunition, as well as effective practices and further steps to address related risks and challenges to regional security. It also seeks to strengthen regional cooperation and coordination between national law-enforcement agencies and regional entities dealing with such matters.

Government experts working in the field of ammunition management will engage with representatives from the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), UNRCPD, the Ammunition Management Advisory Team (AMAT), and non‑governmental organizations, particularly Non-violence International and the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, to identify urgent issues pertaining to the accumulation of ammunition surpluses and the means to effectively address this matter in order to reduce the dual risk of unintended explosions and diversion to illicit markets. The presentations and discussions will incorporate a range of perspectives and tools, like the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines and the UN SaferGuard platform, and examine regional trends and implications for safety and security, as well as possible joint responses and synergies between global frameworks and instruments.

The Seminar will further allocate a whole day to support the work of a United Nations group of governmental experts on problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition in surplus, to be convened in 2020 in accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 72/55.

The Seminar contributes to the implementation of the United Nations Secretary General’s Disarmament Agenda, “Securing Our Common Future”, specifically Action 22 on securing excessive and poorly maintained stockpiles. The Seminar will also promote the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.

The Seminar is made possible with financial support from the Government of Germany.

For further information, please contact Yuriy Kryvonos, Director of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, via e-mail at info@unrcpd.org.