Statement by Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill, Permanent Representative of India to the CD during the 3rd RevCon of SALW in New York on June 19, 2018
18-29 JUNE 2018
The Indian delegation warmly congratulates you on your election as the Chair of the Third Review Conference of the UN PoA. We are very pleased to see France lead this important Conference. We assure you of our full cooperation and support towards a successful outcome at this Review Conference.
We would also like to congratulate others members of the Bureau on their election. We appreciate the transparent and inclusive manner in which you have undertaken the preparations for the Review Conference, including through the early commencement of informal consultations and subsequent rounds thereafter, both in New York and Geneva.
India associates itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of NAM.
India attaches high importance to the UN PoA as the cornerstone of multilateral efforts to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in SALW. India’s national security has been adversely affected by terrorism, transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and piracy, in all of which, illicit trade in SALW plays a pernicious role. The continuedfull and effective implementation of the PoA is, therefore, a priority for India, especially as a means for combating terrorism and transnational crime.
It is evident that progress has been made in the implementation of the PoA since its adoption in 2001. At the same time, much remains to be done. Despite the efforts of responsible states and international organizations, small arms, light weapons, ammunition and explosives continue to move illicitly across borders. It is therefore imperative, as also suggested by you on earlier occasions, Mr. President, to focus our attention on further strengthening the implementation of the PoA.
With a long border with several neighbors, border management remains a significant challenge for India. A principle objective of India’s border management policy is to secure our borders against illicit trade, including through the setting up of a Department of Border Management as well as establishing bilateral and multilateral avenues of cooperation in this sphere.
India has a robust legislative and administrative mechanism to combat and eradicate the menace of illicit SALWs, the details of which can be found in our national reports, including the latest one submitted online.
India maintains strict export controls over all munitions and related items including SALW. India joined the Wassenaar Arrangement in December 2017. India is also party to all the thirteen counter-terrorism conventions and has ratified the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime as well its Protocol on Firearms.
India was privileged to chair the GGE in 2002-2003 whose recommendations led to the Open-ended Working Group to negotiate the ITI. We believe that the full implementation of the ITI will go a long way in tackling illicit trade in SALW. The ITI recognized the interconnected nature of marking, record keeping and international cooperation, which, in our view remain the three pillars of successful tracing of illicit SALW.
With regard to the opportunities and challenges of new developments in SALW related technologies, while we would, in principle, support any technological solution that contributes towards enhancing the effectiveness of ITI implementation, we would, at the same time, be cautious about the financial and technical burden, particularly for developingcountries, likely to beengendered by some technological solutions.
As for the discussion on synergies with other instruments, we believe that the PoA should continue to be the main framework for measures to prevent, combat and eradicate illicit trade in SALW in all its aspects and that it is essential to preserve the universal and consensus driven nature of the PoA. The international community has taken modest yet significant steps in addressing the issues posed by SALWs. We need to carefully nurture the coherence, cooperative atmosphere and commitment that have emerged as key elements of the PoA process. A steady, flexible and progressive approach will help consolidate our gains and move the process forward. India, Mr. President, remains committed to this approach.
I thank you, Mr. President.