Seventh Biennial Meeting of States (BMS) 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
Agenda Item 6
Intervention by Ambassador Pankaj Sharma
Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament
26 July 2021
India warmly congratulates you on your election as the Chair of the Seventh Biennial Meeting of States. We appreciate the transparent and inclusive manner in which you have undertaken the preparatory work for this important meeting. We also congratulate the other Bureau members on their election.
2. India attaches great priority to the UN Programme of Action as an important consensus-based multilateral instrument. Weapons in the hands of terrorists are the most threatening form of illicit SALWs. Therefore, India values the full and effective implementation of the UN PoA as a means to combat terrorism and transnational crime.
3. While progress has been made in the implementation of the UN PoA during the last two decades, illicit cross border movement of SALW and explosives continue to be of great concern. Thus, India supports the redoubling of efforts to strengthening the implementation of the UN PoA, including through strong national legislative measures and enforcement, export controls, information sharing and capacity building.
4. India has put in place strong legislative and administrative mechanisms to prevent, combat and eradicate the menace of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons. The amendment to our Arms Act in 2019 has further strengthened the legislative provisions relating to arms and ammunition. India maintains strict export controls over all munitions and related items, including SALW. Our national reports bear testimony to India’s strong commitment to the implementation of the UN PoA and its robust national efforts in this regard.
5. India believes that international cooperation and assistance, including capacity building, should be pursued in parallel for full implementation of UN PoA and the ITI.
6. As regards the calls for developing synergies with other instruments, we believe that the UN PoA should continue to be the main framework guiding international efforts on SALW, while preserving its universal and consensus driven nature.
7. Effective implementation of the UN PoA calls for a strong political will and cooperative spirit. India stands ready to contribute to a progressive and flexible approach that would help consolidate gains made so far. We assure you of our full cooperation and support for steering our meeting to a productive outcome.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.