The largely unknown size, patterns and routes of illicit trafficking in firearms constitute an important challenge for national authorities in the development of appropriate and efficient strategies at policy and operational level to counter this phenomena.
In this context, the
Global Firearms Programme (GFP) promotes the acquisition of increased evidence-based knowledge on firearms trafficking trends and patterns and its transnational dimension, as well as enhanced participation of civil society and parliamentarians in supporting and monitoring the implementation of effective firearms control regimes. Throughout its activities, the GFP offers opportunities to take stock and gather information on firearms trafficking situations, which will contribute to provide background information material, along with official data from government and other sources.
Hence, pursuant to a mandate from the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols thereto (COP), UNODC has developed the
2015 Study on Firearms Trafficking, and has for this purpose disseminated among Member States a consolidated annual report questionnaire and a significant individual seizure report questionnaire, available in all UN languages. A database application to collect and analyse the data on seized and confiscated firearms, to monitor illicit trafficking flows at national, regional and global level has also been developed in this context.
During the 8th COP, Member States have mandated UNODC to continue to collect firearms trafficking related data on a regular basis, in cooperation with Member States and relevant organizations and taking into account the new target 16.4 of the
Sustainable Development Goals, which calls on States to, "by 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows […] and combat all forms of organized crime".
Therefore, UNODC has initiated an inclusive process to review the data collection methodology through an expert group meeting on the subject taking into account recent developments regarding target 16.4 with a view to launch a new data collection initiative in 2017.