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Cyprus chairs OSCE meeting on illicit trafficking of weapons
2007-03-29 09:00:54

Nicosia, Mar 27 - A special meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security and Cooperation (FSC) was held recently under the chairmanship of Cyprus to discuss ways of combating the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons by air.

The meeting, held on March 21 in Vienna, was the first on an international level to deal with this specific aspect of the problem of the illicit trafficking of small arms and weapons.

A press release said that guest speakers, experts and national delegations supported the development of a mechanism to exchange information on participating states national legislation and regulatory framework on import and export controls relating to the air transport sector. They also support the implementation of commitments which are relevant to combating the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons by air, especially in violation of UN Security Council arms embargoes, with a view to identifying possible gaps as well as best practice guides.

They also called for dialogue and increased synergy between governments, private business actors in the air transport sector and competent international organizations will be crucial in raising awareness on the threat of illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons, while enhanced cooperation between states and the private sector is also required in this respect.

The FSC is the OSCE's main decision-making body dealing with politico-military security. March 21st's meeting brought together experts from OSCE participating states, as well as representatives of the air transportation sector and international organizations.

Participants noted that military supplies for most of today's conflicts are typically small arms, light weapons and related ammunition, and that in most cases they are illegally transported by air to conflict regions around the globe, especially to Africa, the press release also said.

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