10 September 2012

The Programme of Inaction (or When New York becomes Geneva)

by Daniel Mack, Instituto Sou da Paz

Upon adoption of an outcome document by consensus, the office of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded the PoA Review Conference (RevCon) conclusion as “successful”. But what constitutes success in such a Conference? The RevCon’s mandate was to review the implementation of the PoA, and very little of that was actually done. Rather, it was more of a “Document Review Conference” for drafts that had been available for weeks.

Outcome document adopted by consensus, but lacking in ambition

by Katherine Prizeman, Global Action to Prevent War
After the President of the UNPoA Review Conference (RevCon), Ambassador Ogwu of Nigeria, provided a third revision of the draft outcome document on Friday afternoon, delegations were able to adopt, by consensus, the compilation document. While this accomplishment was hailed as a success, particularly after the failure of the 2006 RevCon, states must use the next six-year review cycle to achieve more in the way of practical implementation.


The final outcome document: a tentative step

by Eloise Watson, Reaching Critical Will of WILPF

Today’s global strategic environment is characterized by complexity, in which the problems posed by the illicit trade of small arms and light weapon (SALW) are amplified. It was therefore of cardinal importance that the 2012 UNPoA Review Conference conclude with positive results. The conference did achieve its goal of adopting by consensus a final outcome document emphasizing the renewed commitment of the international community to combating the illegal trade in SALW. Such success, as Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu, President of the Conference, explained, will help create the “much needed and timely momentum for positive movement in the overall multilateral disarmament process.”


International media and the PoA

by Lia Petridis Maiello, Global Action to Prevent War

“Sparse” would describe the level of attention international media paid to the Second Review Conference for the UN Programme of Action (UNPoA) on small arms and lights weapons. The reasons are manifold and can obviously not be reduced to a general rule of thumb. The personal dedication of the individual journalist willing to push a story or topic that might not be as newsworthy as others in the eyes of the editor or outlet would be one reason. Needless to say, every media representative today, in particular those who are publishing with corporate media outlets, has to deal with an entirely new framework of restrictions and guidelines.



by Dr. Robert Zuber, Global Action to Prevent War

Friday saw the end of a successful two-week Review Conference (RevCon) characterized by a consensus outcome document; generous pledges of government assistance; the release of a new “Matching Needs and Resources” booklet and other, more data-driven resources; the revival of one of our small arms partners; a particularly successful series of Small Arms Monitors; the skillfulness of some relatively young and immensely talented facilitators; the consistent, helpful presence of UNODA staff; expressions of leadership on UN Programme of Action (UNPoA) implementation from a new group of regionally diverse states; and much more.


Measuring the effectiveness of the PoA

by Natalie Goldring

As we reach the end of the Review Conference, it’s important to focus once again on the fact that the real measure of the Programme of Action is whether it is saving lives.

WOMEN COUNT: Women and the RevCon on UNPoA

by Jasmin Nario-Galace, IANSA Women's Network

A total of 141 States sent representatives to the United Nations Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects in New York on 27 August–7  September 2012.