GLOBAL FIREARMS PROGRAMME
The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (COP) have on repeated occasions urged Member States to ratify and fully implement the Convention and its Protocols, and requested UNODC to assist Member States in this endeavor, inter alia through the provision of legislative advise and legal drafting support, technical assistance, training and capacity building activities aimed at strengthening the capacities of States to respond to the challenges and threats posed by transnational organized crime, as well as through the development of specialized legal and operational tools. By its decisions 4/6 and 5/4, the COP has furthermore urged States Parties to the Protocol to strengthen their national legislation in a manner consistent with the Protocol, and requested UNODC to support States and to facilitate technical assistance for the implementation of the Protocol. In particular, the COP also requested UNODC to finalize and disseminate the model law on firearms in 6 official languages, and to develop in consultation with Member States other technical assistance tools to support implementation, as well as to conduct a study on the transnational nature of and routes used in trafficking in firearms for consideration at COP6. Moreover, the Conference decided to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group on firearms, assisted by the Secretariat, that shall submit a report to and meet during COP6 and hold at least one inter-sessional meeting, if possible, in the framework of the CCPCJ (OP 8,10, 12, 13).
As the guardian of the Firearms Protocol, UNODC's mandate is to assist the Member States to prevent and counter transnational illicit trafficking in firearms. The aim is to take a significant step forward in strengthening the criminal justice response to firearms and ammunition trafficking in the Member States. This objective coincides with the overall UNODC strategy to promote ratification and implementation of the Firearms Protocol and to address in particular the crime related dimension of the firearms problematic. The Implementation Support Section (ISS) of the Organized Crime and Trafficking Branch (OCB), has developed a global programme on firearms (GPF) with the aim to raise awareness, promote adherence to and support the implementation of the Firearms Protocol by providing technical and legislative assistance to Member States. In this framework, ISS is currently implementing a project on "Countering Transnational Illicit Arms Trafficking through the Implementation of the UNTOC and its Firearms Protocol". The project started in 2011 and is funded by the European Commission. It covers 15 countries in West Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and its duration is 36 months. Under this project UNODC is providing technical assistance in the following areas:
· Knowledge and awareness raising of the Firearms Protocol.
· Support to Member States in their ratification and/or accession efforts by assisting them in bringing their legal and institutional framework in line with the international legal framework.
· Development of operational and legal tools to facilitate the implementation of the Firearms Protocol.
· Strengthening national and regional capacity to implement the provisions of the Firearms Protocol and to promote effective law enforcement and judicial cooperation.
· Increased awareness and knowledge of firearms trafficking and its transnational dimension.
The Overall Objective of the project is to prevent and counter transnational illicit trafficking in firearms by promoting the ratification and implementation of the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). This objective is in line with the mandate received by the Conference of the Parties to the Organized Crime Convention (COP) to facilitate, whenever possible, technical assistance to States parties facing difficulties in the implementation of the Firearms Protocol (decision 4/6 and 5/4 COP).
Conference of the Parties Relevant Reports and Resolutions: