Kenya as the President of the Security Council in the month of October 2021, held the first signature event on Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons on October 6, 2021 at the Security Council Chambers in New York. The focus of the meeting was to address the threat posed by illicit flows of small arms and light weapons, in the context of peacekeeping operations.
Addressing the Security Council, Amb. Dr. Martin Kimani, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN, highlighted that the issue of the destabilizing accumulation, transfer and destructive impact of illicit small arms and light weapons and their proliferation constituted a major threat to international peace and security.
“They may be small and light. But that is exactly what makes them more dangerous especially when placed in the wrong hands. By their very nature, small arms are easy to acquire, easy to use, easy to transport and easy to conceal,” Amb. Kimani stressed.
To address this challenge, the Permanent Representative called for a comprehensive architecture built by collaboration and coordination among the relevant UN organs and agencies, regional and sub-regional organizations, as well as civil society.
He urged support in strengthening of regional initiatives, like the African Union’s initiative to silence the guns, as well as those of several regional, sub-regional and national institutions. This was with a particular emphasis on relevant aspects such as securing storage of weapons and ammunition, as well as sensitization and collection, and destruction of illicit small arms and light weapons.
It is critical also to strengthen the capacity of United Nations missions and governments in weapons and ammunition management for purposes of prevention of diversion and illicit trade of small arms and light weapons.
The UNSC President re-emphasized Kenya’s support for continued discussion on the subject with a view to seeking effective ways of supporting peace operations.
The session was addressed by three briefers; Ms. Izumi NAKAMITSU, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; Gen. Badreldin Elamin ABDELGADIR, THE Executive Secretary of the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA) and Mr. David LOCHHEAD, a senior researcher on matters of small arms.