Five years of implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) have brought about some significant developments in combating the illicit trade in small arms. However, further efforts at the national, regional and international levels are necessary.

This analysis is part of a joint project of the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs and the Small Arms Survey established to assist States to better fulfil their commitments under the PoA. It analyses the information contained in national reports voluntarily submitted by States on their implementation of the PoA from 2002 to 2005. To date, 137 countries have participated in national reporting, which is an encouraging development and indicates a growing awareness across the globe on problems related to the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. However, the level of PoA implementation in different regions remains unequal, and while the number of reporting States is increasing in most regions, the level of reporting and of implementation remain low in some regions.

By analysing the reports submitted by States, this study contributes to the efforts to strengthen the PoA. It highlights the main trends in national reporting, including regional differences, thematic priorities and areas where further assistance is indicated to be needed. It also provides concrete recommendations on how different aspects of this reporting mechanism could be enhanced and used more efficiently to combat the illicit trade and proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

Citation: Elli Kytömäki and Valerie Yankey-Wayne (2006). "Five Years of Implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Regional Analysis of National Reports", UNIDIR, Geneva.