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Preventing Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons: An Expert Seminar to Examine Options to Effectively Implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 2370

Preventing Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons: An Expert Seminar to Examine Options to Effectively Implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 2370


In 2017, UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2370, which called on all States to eliminate the supply of weapons to those involved in terrorist acts. While there are various Security Council resolutions addressing terrorism, 2370 is the first dedicated to addressing the linkage between weaponry and terrorist acts. In this resolution, the Council strongly condemns the continued flow of weapons—including small arms and light weapons, military equipment, unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) and their components, and improvised explosive device (IED) components—to and between terrorists, their affiliates, associated groups, illegal armed groups and criminals.

The Security Council urges States to act cooperatively to prevent terrorists from acquiring small arms and light weapons and calls on them to counter threats posed by IEDs. The resolution emphasizes the importance of enhancing cooperation and coordination among relevant UN bodies to assist in preventing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts.  In particular, operative paragraph 12 of the resolution, “Encourages Member States, as appropriate, to strengthen cooperation and the exchange of good practices with civil society, the public and private sectors, including with representatives of industry in combating the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in small arms and light weapons and improvised explosive devices, including awareness-raising”

As a specialized UN entity devoted to research and analysis on non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament, UNIDIR was invited to provide a briefing to the United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) on this issue in May 2017. The CTC and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate serve as an important framework for activities in this area, and their work can be further supported by partnering institutions to produce evidence-based, policy-focused research. Given UNIDIR’s convening power, the Institute has a unique and essential role in supporting the implementation of resolution 2370 by building and exchanging knowledge among relevant stakeholders to promote collective action in this area. 

The objective of this project is to enhance shared understanding among States and relevant stakeholders on threats and risks relevant to UNSCR 2370, and to identify options for the effective implementation of the resolution, in particular operative paragraph 12. This project seeks to: 

1) Conduct stakeholder mapping of relevant sectors/stakeholders (for example law enforcement, customs, national security, trade, private sector etc.);

2) Identify opportunities and potential gaps within and beyond existing frameworks and/or initiatives; and

3) Explore and assess concrete ways forward in supporting the implementation of this resolution.