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GCSP Hosts Discussion on Small Arms and Light Weapons

On 1 June 2018, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), hosted a side event organised by the French Presidency of the 3rd Review Conference (RevCon) of the United Nations Programme of Action on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) entitled: “The way forward to the 3rd Review Conference of the UN PoA on Small Arms and Light Weapons”.

The panel was moderated by HE Ms Alice Guitton, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the Conference on Disarmament. The panellists included: HE Mr Jean-Claude Brunet, Ambassador, President- designate of the 3rd RevCon of the UN PoA; Mr Himayu Shiotani, Project Manager at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR); Mr Marco Kalbusch, Deputy Director of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva Branch; as well as Mr Glenn McDonald, Senior Researcher at the Small Arms Survey.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Guitton underlined the need for cooperation in the light of the upcoming 3rd RevCon.

The panellists touched upon several common themes, in particular the multifaceted nature of the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), the need for a comprehensive approach involving practical experiences from the front lines, and for intersectional cooperation among different sectors, and the need for the Geneva network to be at the forefront of the conversation.

Ambassador Brunet shed some light on the pre-conference drafts and the necessity of disarmament in the current international arena, all the while stressing the need for a comprehensive approach that considers the national, regional and international levels.

Mr Marco Kalbusch, spoke of the UN Secretary General’s primary focus, “Disarmament to Save Lives”. The panellist brought the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the gender framework into the conversation, by outlining the ways in which SALW impact the daily life of populations in the fields of health, education, and security, among others.

Mr Himayu Shiotani emphasised the need for the revival of the former Geneva Process on Small Arms, and reiterated the importance of organisations such as the GCSP in the field of capacity-building and training.

The final panellist, Mr Glenn McDonald made ammunition and tracing the centre of his remarks, and brought the field of post-conflict peace building into the discussion as a pillar of future strategies for the PoA. Addressing the audience directly, his concluding statement that “You can make history” resonates particularly well with the GCSP’s efforts to promote peace and security through good governance and inclusivity.