25 May 2017 - Vienna
On 25 May 2017, the European Commission and the UNODC Global Firearms Programme and Research and Trend Analysis Branch organized a joint side event to the 26 th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice entitled " From Data to Action - Using Firearms Data to Tailor Policies, Enhance Operational Capacities and Foster International Cooperation to Combat Firearms Trafficking".
Mr. José Luis Martins, Counsellor at the Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna opened the event and stressed that the absence of readily available data on firearms trafficking constitutes an obstacle to the development of adequate policies and approaches to tackle the phenomenon. He welcomed the 2015 UNODC Study on Firearms as starting point to shed light at international level on the phenomenon and referred to the ongoing cooperation between the EU and UNODC to continue working on this matter. Underlining the importance of quality data, Ms. Angela Me, Chief of the Research and Trend Analysis Branch, pointed out that "unused data is not good data". Ms. Loide Lungameni, Chief of the Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch called on stakeholders to perceive the data collection process on firearms not as administrative burden, but as real opportunity to efficiently tailor policies, enhance operational capacities and foster international cooperation to combat firearms trafficking and related offences.
Underlining that the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms represent one of the priority concerns for the Government of Panama, "both for its ties with urban crime and their increasing levels of violence, as well as with transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism", His Excellency Alexis Bethancourt, Minister of Public Security of the Republic of Panama provided an overview of concrete measures the Government of Panama, with the support of UNODC, is foreseeing in the near future to counter the issue of illicit arms trafficking.
A regional perspective on how firearms data helps to shape policies and is used as basis for cooperation and intelligence sharing was shared by Mr. José Romero, Driver of the Firearms priority of the European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats (EMPACT) FIREARMS. Mr. Romero explained, among others, that a regular serious and organized crime threat assessment (SOCTA) helps EU Sates to identify priority areas that need to be addressed.
Ms. Simonetta Grassi, Head of the UNODC Global Firearms Programme, concluded the event by calling for an integrated approach on firearms criminality that is based on and informed by available, standardised and reliable data.
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For further information, please contact:
Ms. Simonetta Grassi
Head of the Global Firearms Programme
E-mail: Simonetta.Grassi @ unodc.org