Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Samoa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations delivered Samoa’s statement during the thematic discussion on Conventional Weapons in the UN Disarmament and International Security Committee (First Committee).
He reiterated that Samoa does not have an armed police force as it will never guarantee total peace and security with the only security that his country relies upon is the respect for the rule of law to protect its people. Reference was made to the devastation and instability societies are subjected to as a result of irresponsible and unlawful transfer of arms and conventional weapons. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the United Nations Programme of Action (UNPoA) were singled out as complementing regimes that will address the deadly consequences of illicit arms trade including small arms and light weapons (SALW). Samoa is in to the third and final reading of the Conventional Arms Bill 2017 that addresses gaps in existing legislations and ensures translation and implementation of the ATT in the local context.
The statement also touched on the importance of a regional approach involving all Pacific countries to enhance regional security with flow-on benefits to support individual national efforts. Working regionally through cross-border collaboration, information and data sharing, resource sharing in surveillance will assist Pacific island states in combating the illegal and unregulated trade in conventional weapons.