Iâ€™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 â€œBMS5â€, 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 yearâ€™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 yearâ€™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.Â 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 â€œthe ITIâ€. 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 â€˜zero-draftâ€™ 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.Â I hope this will allow us to make effective progress on substantive issues so that we ensure a successful outcome of Juneâ€™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:
- Stockpile management;
- Marking, record-keeping and tracing: the International Tracing Instrument;
- International cooperation and assistance;
- Other issues.
Of course, these are only very tentative, preliminary proposals.Â 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.Â 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. Â 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 â€œimplications of recent technological developments in small arms for marking, record-keeping and tracingâ€, 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-Generalâ€™s report will be considered at BMS5 under the ITI section. In this regard, I ask the Secretariat to ensure that the Secretary-Generalâ€™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 fromâ€¦
[Member States take the floorâ€¦]
Are there any other issues Member States may wish to bring up?