Small Arms and Light Weapons

Small arms and light weapons claim more lives than any other kind of weapons. Since 2001, States have been cooperating under an UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. In June 2014, the fifth biennial meeting of States Parties was held. Austria contributes internationally above all by supporting projects on the improvement of stockpile management and security.

In September 2013, the Security Council of the United Nations held a high level debate on small arms and light weapons and for the first time ever adopted a Resolution (2117) specifically dedicated to the issue. The Resolution calls, inter alia, to prevent illicit transfers of small arms and light weapons, to observe arms embargoes imposed by the Security Council, to prevent arms deliveries to terrorists, to include women in the implementation of relevant political measures, to respect obligations under humanitarian and human rights law, and to accede to relevant instruments such as the Arms Trade Treaty. In view of the risk for peace and security in the world in general, and for civil populations in armed conflict in particular, posed by the uncontrolled accumulation and use of small arms and light weapons, by adopting this Resolution, the Security Council has achieved an important step forward for containing the problem.