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India’s security agencies seize annually thousands of illicit firearms, attributable to illegal trafficking from across borders

United Nations, June 28

India has said its security agencies annually seize thousands of illicit firearms, attributable to illegal trafficking from “across our borders”, despite a strong law-based framework in the country for controlling Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).

“The continuing prevalence of illicit small arms and light weapons and their availability to terrorists, armed groups and other unauthorised recipients is a clear indicator that the implementation of the UN Programme of Action (UNPoA) requires further and more effective efforts,” Sandeep Arya, Additional Secretary, Disarmament amp; International Security Affairs division (Damp;ISA), Ministry of External Affairs said.

Speaking on Monday at the Eighth Biennial Meeting of States on Programme of Action on SALW, he said India views full and effective implementation of the UNPoA as the cornerstone of multilateral efforts to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in SALW.

“We particularly emphasise the importance of the UNPoA in alleviating armed conflicts and tackling the scourge of terrorism that remains one of the biggest challenges for the world; this should be acknowledged in the outcome document. Despite a strong law-based framework in our country for controlling SALW, India’s security agencies seize annually thousands of illicit firearms, attributable to illicit trafficking from across our borders,” he said.

He added that UN Member States bear the primary responsibility for implementation through sound national laws and regulations, their enforcement, export controls and information sharing. Measures for improving national efforts and reporting by states on UNPoA implementation need greater attention, particularly in places with inadequate measures while having a large presence of SALW and those with greater risks of their diversion.

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