Kenya hosts first meeting on threats of Small Arms

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Kenya has called for the strengthening of the capacity of United Nations missions and governments in weapons and ammunition management to prevent diversion and illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Dr Martin Kimani while addressing the Security Council at the Security Council Chambers in New York, where Kenya is the President of the Council for the month of October 2021, reiterated the country’s commitment in seeking effective ways of supporting peace operations.

As the President of the Security Council, Kenya held its first signature event on illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons on Tuesday October 6, 2021, at the Security Council Chambers meeting in New York, whose focus was on the threat posed by illicit flows of small arms and light weapons, in the context of peacekeeping operations.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, Amb Kimani cited destabilizing accumulation, transfer and destructive impact of illicit small arms and light weapons and their proliferation as a major threat to international peace and security.

“They may be small and light, but that is exactly what makes them more dangerous especially when placed in the wrong hands. By their very nature, small arms are easy to acquire, easy to use, easy to transport and easy to conceal,” Amb Kimani stressed.

He noted that the threat can only be deterred through strong collaboration and coordination among the relevant UN organs and agencies, regional and sub-regional organizations, as well as civil society.

“We must support in strengthening of regional initiatives, like the African Union’s initiative to silence the guns, as well as those of several regional, sub-regional and national institutions,” he urged.

Amb Kimani emphasized that peace and security can be achieved if the institutions secure storage of weapons and ammunition, as well as sensitizing, collection and destruction of the illicit small arms and light weapons.

The session was also addressed by Ms Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; Gen Badreldin Elamin, the Executive Secretary of the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA) and Mr. David Lochhead, a senior researcher on matters of small arms.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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