Side Event on Monitoring Illicit Firearms Trafficking, its Routes and Modus Operandi

  23 April 2013

UNODC and INTERPOL co-organized a side event on the options for monitoring firearms trafficking, its routes and modus operandi. The event was opened by Mr. Tofik Murshudlu, Chief of the Implementation Support Section of the Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking branch of UNODC and Mr. Jeffrey Stirling, Coordinator of the Firearms Programme in INTERPOL, who underlined the need for Member States to  focus on obtaining reliable and comparable empiric data in order to have a better understanding on the problematic of illicit firearms trafficking, and its transnational dimension, impact, as well as its connections to organized crime.
Ms. Simonetta Grassi (UNODC) and Mr. Enrico Bisogno (UNODC) presented the need for developing a study on firearms trafficking, which will enable Member States to understand better the threats they face and take actions to prevent and combat them. Mr. Bisogno described the success of UNODC's research on drugs trafficking, which have increased international cooperation and contributed towards the creation of successful policy interventions. Ms. Grassi outlined the need to build on the existing UNODC's experience and resources, and in cooperation with Member States and interested international partners, to conduct a study on firearms trafficking as provided for in the resolutions of the Conferences of the Parties. Ms. Grassi presented the methodology, the structure and the links of the future study to the existing mechanisms for data collection, specifically the INTERPOL's management system for tracing illicit arms records (iARMs). Ms. Grassi concluded by emphasizing that the outcomes of the study will include support for Member States to conduct criminal investigations on firearms trafficking, to cooperate among each other with the ultimate goal to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.
Mr. Jeffrey Stirling (INTERPOL) gave a presentation on the development of iARMS, the opportunities and the challenges for Member States in using the system. Mr. Stirling explained with concrete examples how iARMS can be used by Member States for tracing lost, stolen, trafficked and smuggled firearms. He highlighted the need for support for the implementation of the new system and expressed hope that Member States will use it proactively by providing regularly the required information. Mr. Stirling concluded his presentation by outlining the areas of future cooperation with UNODC in the field of capacity building and technical support.
The side event was chaired by Mr. Tofik Murshudlu, Chief of the Implementation Support Section, (UNODC).