Afghan envoy to chair UN meeting on small arms
WASHINGTON (PAN): Afghan Ambassador to the United Nations, Zahir Tanin, was nominated on Thursday as chair of the 5th biennial meeting of states on small arms and light weapons.
The meeting will consider implementation of a programme of action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects at open-ended informal consultations in New York.
While thanking member states for his nomination as chair-designate, Tanin noted the gravity of the issue. “Around the world, small arms and light weapons are fueling conflict, instability and creating obstacles to development, peace, and security.”
He praised the progress of member states in dealing with illicit arms circulation, mentioning achievements in terms of “establishing national laws and commissions, enhancing capacities of institutions, increasing security of their arms depots and ammunitions and preventing their diversion to non-state actors.”
Much work remained to be done to deal with the challenge, the diplomat said, adding the issue was of particular importance to his country. “Afghanistan has been a major victim of this scourge. More than 1.5 million Afghans have been killed by these weapons.”
Tanin reassured delegates he would do his utmost to have an open, inclusive and balanced process for dealing with this subject. He intends to organise the first open-ended consultations in October on priority issues and topics of relevance to be addressed.
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