Friday, April 25, 2014

Opening Remarks H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin Chair –Designate of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (BMS 5) First Informal consultations

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

I’d like to offer a warm welcome to all of you in my capacity as Chair-designate to this first informal consultation on the preparations for the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, also known as “BMS5”, to be held in New York from 16 to 20 June 2014.

I would like to thank you for the trust you have bestowed upon me earlier this year, by endorsing my nomination as Chair-designate for BMS5. I look forward to taking on this role and to working with all of you as we move forward.

Please be assured that I will work closely with Member States to ensure the success of BMS5. Moreover, I am committed to an inclusive and fully transparent process from beginning to end, leading into the meeting next year.

The Programme of Action remains an important instrument at our disposal to tackle the complex issue of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, which continues to wreck havoc in many regions and impede socio-economic development.

The Biennial Meetings of States, which are aimed at considering the national, regional and global implementation of the Programme of Action, are an important opportunity to take stock of our efforts, and identify how to improve our collective approach in the fight against the illicit trade in and uncontrolled proliferation of these weapons. Next year’s BMS5 is significant in this regard, and offers us the chance to move forward with the goals of the PoA especially in light of last year’s successful Review Conference.

Today, I look forward to hearing your input on the possible agenda, outcome, and other substantive and organizational aspects of BMS5.  I am committed to fully hearing your views and concerns throughout our consultations.

As indicated in my letter to you of 10 October, BMS5 will include a separate segment on the International Tracing Instrument, also known as “the ITI”. This is in line with past practice and with the mandate of the ITI, which was adopted by consensus in 2005. It is my intention, also in accordance with past practice, to appoint a moderator for the ITI segment of BMS5.

In regards to our working methods for BMS5: I intend to use the same working methods which were successfully used during previous Programme of Action meetings. This includes an early circulation of a ‘zero-draft’ outcome document, leaving ample possibility for open, transparent consultations in the lead-up to the meeting itself.

Furthermore, as in the past, I would suggest that the BMS5, due to time constraints, have again no general debate nor a high-level segment, but moves directly into the thematic debate.  I hope this will allow us to make effective progress on substantive issues so that we ensure a successful outcome of June’s meeting.

In regards to our discussions today on the BMS5 agenda, Member States will recall that I put forward some very initial proposals, based on what States agreed to in the last Review Conference, including:

  1. Stockpile management;
  2. Marking, record-keeping and tracing: the International Tracing Instrument;
  3. International cooperation and assistance;
  4. Other issues.

Of course, these are only very tentative, preliminary proposals.  I will work hard to listen to you so that the final agenda is fully representative of all your ideas and interests, and to this end, I look forward to your comments today.  It would be my intention to reach an informal agreement on an agenda for BMS5 by December.

I would also like to remind you of the importance of the timely submission of your national reports on the implementation of the PoA and the ITI.  The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs circulated a Note Verbale on 20 September, calling on Member States to submit their national reports before 31 December this year. UNODA can assist you with obtaining a password to log into the online reporting page in order to submit your report.

Also, you will recall that in the 2012 Review Conference outcome, States requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on “implications of recent technological developments in small arms for marking, record-keeping and tracing”, which will be considered at BMS5. States agreed that they would provide information on this in their national reports. In this regard, I would encourage you to make use of your national reports to submit this information, since I envisage that this Secretary-General’s report will be considered at BMS5 under the ITI section. In this regard, I ask the Secretariat to ensure that the Secretary-General’s report is issued in a timely manner so that we can all study it well in advance of our meeting next year.

Regarding the next steps of the BMS5 process, I intend to hold at least four rounds of open, informal consultations with Member States, in New York and possibly in Geneva, before the start of BMS5.

I would like now to open the floor for comments.

I give the floor to the delegate from…

 

 

 

[Member States take the floor…]

 

Are there any other issues Member States may wish to bring up?

 

Ambassador Tanin Convenes First Information Consultations of the BMS5 as Chair-Designate

On 25 October 2013, Ambassador Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, convened the first informal consultations of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to consider the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illict Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (BMS5) in his capacity as Chair-Designate.  The meeting was intended as a forum for Member States to share their views on the substantive and organizational aspects of the BMS5, which will be held in June 2014.

The BMS5 will provide Member States with the opportunity to consider the national, regional and global implementation of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (PoA), an instrument which calls for states to take action on the illegal trade of small arms and light weapons.

Ambassador Tanin opened the consultations by offering a warm welcome to Member States.  “I look forward to taking on this role,” he said, “and to working with all of you as we move forward.  Please be assured that I will work closely with Member States to ensure the success of BMS5.”  AmbassadorTanin also emphasized his commitment to an inclusive and fully transparent process from beginning to end, leading into the meeting next year.

In his statement, Ambassador Tanin expressed his intention to use the same working methods which were successfully used during previous PoA meetings, including an early circulation of a ‘zero-draft’ outcome document, and a move directly to thematic debate with no general debate or high level segment, as in the past.  He also put forward four very initial proposals for the agenda items during the BMS5, proposals based on agreements made at the last Review Conference in 2012.  These included stockpile management; marking, record-keeping, and tracing; international cooperation and assistance; and other issues.

Member States congratulated Ambassador Tanin on his nomination as Chair-Designate and offered their support to him throughout the process.  Further, Member States remarked on the proposed agenda, working methods, and other substantive issues of note leading up to the BMS5.

Closing the consultations, Ambassador Tanin reiterated his commitment to listen to Member States and expressed his desire to hear from each representative in the months to come.

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan hosts Ambassadors and academic experts in a workshop on “Building Stable Societies as part of the post-2015 Development Framework”

 

The Permanent Missions of Afghanistan and Timor Leste along with the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University co-hosted a workshop on 24 October 2012 entitled “Building Stable Societies as part of the post-2015 Development Framework.” This productive meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan and H.E. Ms. Sofia Mesquita Borges, Permanent Representative of Timor Leste.  Dr. Bruce Jones, Director and Senior Fellow of CIC, framed the conversation.

 

Ambassador Tanin opened the discussion, remarking that in order for the post-2015 framework to be universal and inclusive, it must consider the special circumstances of states in and coming out of conflict.  He shared Afghanistan’s experience, highlighting the successes the country has made over the past twelve years as well as the challenges it still faces in advancing its development agenda, namely terrorism and risks posed by armed anti-government elements.  “A sad fact remains,” he said, “that a school built in six months can be burned down in six minutes.”

 

Following Ambassador Tanin, Ambassador Borges commented on her country’s position, explaining, “Timor-Leste recognizes that peace and effective institutions are necessary to reach the goals of eradicating extreme poverty and bringing about sustainable development.  These are not issues that are pertinent only to a group of countries affected by conflict or fragility.”  In his remarks, Dr. Jones added, “The reality is that there’s no way of achieving the goals of ‘leave no one behind’ or getting to zero on absolute poverty without grappling with the fact that a plurality of the world’s poorest live in countries affected by conflict.”

 

Workshop discussions were enriched by insightful remarks from Mr. Eric Kashambuzi, Advisor on the Post-2015 Development Agenda from CIC and Ms. Karina Gerlach, a Member of the High Level Panel Secretariat. A number of participants shared their views.  Issues discussed included the links between development and peace, the individual experiences of states, and potential political roadblocks in the post-2015 planning process.  As the session came to a close, speakers welcomed the existence of a broad coalition of member states characterized by optimism for the ongoing process to consolidate the post-2015 development agenda.