Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 29, August - September 1998
UN Small Arms Action Plan: Organizational Decision'Department for Disarmament Affairs Designated UN Focal Point to Coordinate Action on Small Arms Within UN System,' United Nations Press Release DC/2611, 14 August 1998
"The Secretary-General has designated the Department for Disarmament Affairs as the focal point to coordinate all action on small arms within the United Nations system. The decision was taken recently when the Senior Management Group met under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General and discussed the security, developmental and humanitarian dimensions of the problem of excessive accumulation and proliferation of small arms.
The Department for Disarmament Affairs has established the Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) as the mechanism for implementing the decision of the Secretary-General. The membership of CASA includes all departments and agencies with comparative advantages in pursuing the five-fold objectives of the United Nations policy on small arms: to retain its lead in putting the issue on the global agenda; to assume a coordinating role in determining priorities for international action; to encourage civil society involvement in building societal resistance to violence; to strengthen United Nations capability for responding to requests for assistance by affected countries; and to ensure that its objectives are pursued without prejudice to the United Nations overall goals in the field of disarmament.
At its inaugural meeting, CASA agreed to concentrate on pursuing three priorities in the near future, as follows: an advocacy campaign to promote a better public awareness of the direct and indirect consequences of the excessive accumulation and proliferation of small arms; resource mobilization for responding to specific requests for assistance by affected States; and the holding of an international conference on all aspects of illicit arms trade.
The proposal to hold an international conference on illicit arms trade was first made in the report of the Secretary-General on small arms, which was prepared in July 1997 with the assistance of a 16-member Panel of Governmental Experts. The United Nations General Assembly, by resolution 52/38 J endorsed this recommendation and requested the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States for consideration at its forthcoming session. Since then, the proposal has received support from several quarters. The Government of Switzerland has offered to host the Conference in the year 2000."
© 1998 The Acronym Institute.