India believes that international cooperation and assistance including capacity building are essential for full and effective implementation of the UNPoA and the International Tracing Instrument. International cooperation needs to be pursued in parallel with international assistance. While measurability of implementation and achievement of targets are undeniably important, linking international cooperation and assistance with targets will be counterproductive in our view.
2. India recognizes the importance of international cooperation in strengthening existing mechanisms for information exchange to identify diversion points, trafficking routes, customs control, cross-border cooperation etc. to prevent diversion and illicit transfers of SALW. Indian Customs has coordinated with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for various capacity building programmes including in the area of strategic trade controls, and participates in international customs enforcement operations and exercises related to preventing illicit trafficking of strategic goods, combating illicit trafficking of small arms, etc. As part of international cooperation, India engages in exchange of information with partner countries, on proliferation and diversion concerns of dual use items and munitions including SALW.
3. One of our priorities in the UN PoA should be enhancing national capacities to either submit or respond to tracing requests from other countries as well as investigations and legal cooperation for tracing with the aim of preventing illicit transfers of SALW. On its part, India maintains a national database of firearms and ammunition, and extends all possible support to the requests received relating to tracing of firearms and ammunition and investigations involving firearms and ammunition from member states, based on mutually agreeable terms whilst adhering to international instruments and protocols.
4. India looks forward to further discussions on this important aspect of our work at the BMS-7.
Thank you, Chair.