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24 JULY 2008
RP: END ILLICIT TRANSFER OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS
NEW YORK—The Philippines again joined the international chorus seeking an end to the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons when it threw its full support to efforts to strengthen implementation of a global instrument on marking and tracing these weapons.
In its report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations said the Philippines was among the 134 countries that voted in favor of the "Report of the Third Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects."
Ambassador Hilario G. Davide Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative, said the report, which was adopted at the end of the week-long meeting on 18 July, included measures in which States agreed to ensure the full and effective implementation of the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Ambassador Davide said the instrument, which was first adopted by the General Assembly in December 2005, committed States to mark existing stocks of weapons held by Governments as well as armed and security forces in order to reduce the chances of their flow to war zones and the illicit market.
In addition to the instrument on tracing, Ambassador Davide said the report of the third biennial meeting also spelled out the 'way forward' in implementing the 2001 Program of Action that establishes a global framework for curbing the illicit trade in small arms.
"Small arms and light weapons pose a serious threat to international peace and security, and to mankind as a whole, since this type of weapon, though not as destructive as the others, are easily and cheaply produced and manufactured, transferred and transported; and they kill and maim, just as easily as weapons of mass destruction," Ambassador Davide said in the statement he delivered during the meeting.
"Illicit small arms and light weapons could cause, encourage, or prolong conflicts, often intra-State wars which could lead to genocide," Ambassador Davide said. "These illicit weapons could also cause, encourage and assist criminal elements to commit crimes against persons and property with impunity."
Aside from Ambassador Davide, the members of the Philippine Delegation to the meeting were Special Envoy on Transnational Crime Florencio Fianza; Brig. Gen. Mario Chan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; former Benguet Gov. Raul Molintas; Third Secretary Raphael Hermoso; and Attache Michelle Jayag of the Philippine Mission. ###
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