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Réf. GRIP DATA : G4529

Date d'insertion : 20/02/2004


European Parliament
Document adopted by the Europen Parliament

Final version : 19/06/2003




European Parliament resolution on implementation of the United Nations programme to combat the illegal trade in light weapons


The European Parliament,

A. concerned that the illicit trafficking in, and misuse of, small arms and light weapons undermines respect for human rights, international humanitarian law and sustainable development,

B. affirming the urgent need to control tightly the legal trade in small arms and light weapons in accordance with States' obligations under international law to prevent their diversion into illicit trade flows and to undesirable end-users,

C. recalling its view that transfers which entail a clear risk of contributing to serious violations of human rights or international humanitarian law should be prohibited in law,

D. taking into account the United Nations Conference on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects and, in particular, its Programme of Action,

E. noting with satisfaction the EU's support at this conference for international instruments on marking and tracing as well as on brokering,

F. regretting that Member States have made only limited progress in following up the encouragement contained in this Programme of Action to begin negotiations at a regional level with the aim of concluding relevant legally binding instruments aimed at preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects,

G. whereas, in July 2003, State Parties will meet in New York for the UN Biennial Meeting of States (BMS) to review the implementation of this Programme of Action,


1. Calls on the Council and the governments of the Member States to use the BMS to reaffirm their commitment to international instruments on marking/tracing and brokering and to declare their support for such instruments being legally binding;

2. Encourages the Council and EU governments to declare publicly their support for a legally binding international instrument to control conventional arms transfers according to clear normative standards based on international law and existing best practice;

3. Calls on the Council and EU governments to examine carefully the model conventions on arms marking/tracing (as proposed by GRIP and other specialist non-governmental organisations), on arms brokering (as proposed by the Fund for Peace and other NGOs) and on arms transfers (taking as a model the Arms Trade Treaty as proposed by the Arias Foundation and other NGOs) as the basis for legally binding international instruments on these issues;

4. Calls further on the Council and EU governments to identify potential partners and establish Contact Groups of States to pave the way for negotiations on such instruments, if necessary outside the framework of the UN by way of 'Ottawa-style' processes;

5. Urges EU governments to implement speedily the EU Common Position on Arms Brokering and to adopt nationally and at EU level comprehensive controls on arms brokers, including registration, extraterritorial provisions as they already exist in, for example, Finland, Sweden and Belgium, and controls on shipping agents and those providing financial services for arms transfers;

6. Calls on Member States to strengthen their commitment to assisting in the development of legislative frameworks and to building up institutional capacities in EU accession and association countries to implement and enforce arms export controls, including arms brokering and marking/tracing;

7. Requests the Council to draw up a progress report on the outcome of the July 2003 BMS and to report back in full to Parliament immediately after the end of the BMS;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the UN and the OSCE.




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