Small arms and light weapons transfers: Developing understandings on guidelines for national controls and transfers to non-state actors

The informal Small Arms Consultative Group Process on Developing Understandings on Guidelines for National Controls and Transfers to Non-State Actors was established in January 2003, convened by the Biting the Bullet Project. This Chair’s interim report provides an overview of the discussions held and the progress made in the first phase of its work.

The Consultative Group consists of representatives of some 30 governments from most regions, the UN and regional organisations, and selected civil society experts. It has so far met four times, in London (January 2003), Prague (June 2003), New York (July 2003) and Lake Naivasha, Kenya (September 2003), and has now completed the first phase of its work.

The objectives of this informal Small Arms Consultative Group have been to develop shared understandings of two linked issue areas that are of key importance to the implementation and further development of the UN Programme of Action (PoA) on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW):

  • transfers of SALW to non-state actors
  • guidelines for national decisions on whether to authorise transfers of SALW2

Considerable progress has been made in exploring and developing shared understandings on these issues, and in developing a framework for addressing them at a global level.