Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Third UN Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Third UN Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW

As prepared. Check against delivery

Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to join the previous speakers in congratulating you on your assumption of the presidency of the Third Review Conference on the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. I would like to assure you of my delegation’s full support.

While aligning with the statement of the European Union delivered earlier, my delegation would like to make some additional remarks in its national capacity.

Ukraine remains gravely concerned about the fact that the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons continue to pose threats to international peace and security, cause significant loss of life and contribute to instability and insecurity in many regions of the world. Therefore, we continue considering the UN Programme of Action as an important and universal tool to combat this threat. We support proper implementation of this document as well as the International Tracing Instrument by all States.

Since the Second Review Conference held six years ago Ukraine has continued implementing the PoA and ITI provisions. My country has enacted adequate legislation and has put in place appropriate procedures to exercise effective control over SALW. In particular, the production, possession and destruction of this category of weapons in Ukraine is licensed and supervised.

Measures for the destruction of surplus SALW, as well as of those which are unserviceable or have been seized in connection with illicit traffic, are carried out on a planned and regular basis.

We attach particular importance to ensuring effective export control procedures, including in the sphere of brokering activity, that meet all standing international requirements. In this sphere Ukraine strictly adheres to the decisions taken by the UN Security Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Wassenaar Arrangement.

Security Council resolutions which impose sanctions regimes serve as guidelines for the adoption of relevant legislation and regulations in Ukraine and are strictly implemented by the national authorities. The number of national legal acts, adopted by the Parliament, the President and the Cabinet of Ministries, are currently regulating all forms of activity related to the export control, including SALW.

At the regional level, Ukraine cooperates closely with participating States of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in developing effective measures aimed at terminating and eradicating the illegal proliferation of SALW. In conformity with the OSCE Document on SALW Ukraine submits each year to the OSCE Secretariat information concerning its exports and imports of SALW to/from the OSCE States, and separately on confiscated small arms and light weapons removed from illegal trade and on their destruction in Ukrainian territory.

Ukraine is also among the countries who voluntarily report on small arms imports and exports in the framework of the UN Register on Conventional Arms.

Mr. President,

While fuelling armed conflicts, illicit small arms have a wide range of negative human rights, humanitarian and socioeconomic consequences, in particular for the security of civilians.

In this respect, we cannot avoid mentioning the on-going Russia`s military aggression against Ukraine. Regrettably, on regular basis the delegation of Ukraine has to mention on illicit transfers of arms and ammunition, including SALW, to the occupied territories of Ukraine from the neighbouring state.

So far, the situation remains unchanged: the inflow of weapons continues through temporally uncontrolled segment of the Ukraine-Russia border, thus provoking further escalation of the aggression. The most cynical thing in this regard is that large amount of SALW is moved to the occupied regions of Ukraine from Russian territory under the guise of so called Humanitarian Convoys.

Such actions not only contradict the letter and the spirit of the Programme of Action, but also destabilize sub-regional and the entire European security and stability. The international community has no right to ignore this threatening situation.

We reiterate our call to Russia to abide by the PoA and uphold its commitments under all other international treaties and agreements it is violating. We call upon this state to cease its destabilising illegal transfers of armaments, including SALW, to Ukraine.

In closing, Mr. President, we welcome the second draft final document of the Conference submitted by you, and are looking forward to a constructive and result-oriented dialogue on it.

I thankyou.