TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON THE ILLICIT
Thank you Mr. President:
My name is Rob Talley and I serve as the Executive Director of the FAIR Trade Group, an organization representing the interests of businesses involved in the legal import and export of firearms across international boundaries. It is very important that we clarify at the outset that our membership supports efforts to minimize global violence and restrict the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. However, we are concerned that the well-meaning efforts of this Conference will have an unintentional negative impact on legitimate business transactions.
The failure of the Plan of Action to clearly define `small arms' effectively limits the international scope of the Programme. Without a reliable and clear definition, business transactions will be restricted, as definitional conflicts among states result in an inability of businesses to attain appropriately required permits. We recommend that establishing one clear definition will be the key to a working international system.
Second, the recommendation that export and import control regimes for firearms commerce include end use certificates will prevent trade with countries that do not or can not provide such documentation. We recommend that there are other methods to attain a similar goal.
Third, steps by this conference to enforce and require eradication of weapons deemed surplus by participating nations fails to recognize the interests of legitimate collectors and sporting enthusiasts whose lawful acquisition of these same weapons would: One, remove them from regions of concern; Two, introduce them into a regulated and controlled system; And three, provide controlling governments--many of whom are financially struggling--with foreign currency.
On behalf of its membership, the FAIR Trade Group urges consideration of the interests and views of those who are intimately familiar with the practical implications of the initiatives under discussion.
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