An OSCE-supported two-day workshop on fighting illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) began today in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre and the OSCE Programme Office in Astana co-organized the event to raise capacity on preventing the diversion of SALW into the hands of organized criminal and terrorist groups through the use of effective transfer controls as well as safe and secure storage of such weapons.
“Illicit small arms and light weapons are one of the key challenges to resolving any armed conflict or combating armed violence, terrorism and transnational organized crime,” said Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana Gyorgy Szabo. “Co-ordination of national, regional and global efforts is necessary in order to establish best practices and act coherently in closing existing loopholes, especially in what concerns the legislation of countries. At the same time, it needs to be underlined, not to allow extremes, which could negatively affect population.”
The seminar will gather representatives of Kazakhstan’s law enforcement agencies as well as international experts from Spain, Russia, United Nations, European Union, EUROPOL and Eurasian Economic Commission to exchange international and best national practices as well as identify possible areas for further co-operation.
Maksat Baybolov, Deputy Chairman of the Administrative Police Committee of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said: "This event will certainly raise the professional level of all the participants in the field of countering trafficking in small arms. The acquired knowledge and experience will allow us to further develop and enhance legislation measures in the sphere of trafficking of civilian and service weapons. "
The OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons, adopted in 2000 and reissued in 2012, sets forth norms, measures and principles for effective control of these weapons starting from pistols to sub-machine guns and Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS). Agreed by all OSCE participating States, it establishes commitments on elements of export control system, safe and secure stockpile management and security as well as obliges States to co-operate with each other in enforcing those controls.