United States Marks International Small Arms Destruction Day

Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 9, 2009

The United States is pleased to join in observing International Small Arms Destruction Day, initiated by the United Nations in 2001, as part of the United States’ ongoing efforts to reduce armed violence and support the rule of law around the world.

Since 2001, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has invested over $110 million dollars to help destroy over 1.3 million small arms and 50,000 tons of ammunition and other conventional weapons around the world, plus over 30,000 at-risk man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) that might have posed a threat to global aviation when in the hands of terrorists or insurgents.

The United States takes this opportunity to call for all States to continue implementing relevant UN and regional instruments on the illicit trade in SA/LW such as, amongst others: the UN Program of Action on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects; The International Instrument on Tracing of SA/LW; and recommendations made by the UN Group of Governmental Experts to consider further steps to enhance international cooperation in preventing, combating and eradicating illicit brokering in small arms and light weapons.

To learn more about the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement’s small arms/light weapons and other conventional weapons destruction efforts, and about its closely related humanitarian mine action programs, visit 2009-2017.state.gov/t/pm/wra.

PRN: 2009/698