Australia Hosts Pacific Islands Forum Small Arms Workshop
Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Federal Government will host a major
workshop on controlling the movement of small arms and light weapons in the
Pacific region.ï¿½ Up to 40 senior law
enforcement and other officials from Pacific island countries, together with
representatives of Japan, United States and New Zealand, will attend the
workshop in Brisbane from 9 to 11 May.
The unregulated flow of even a limited
number of such weapons can have a destabilising and destructive impact on small
Pacific island communities.ï¿½ This has
been brought into sharp focus by the recent crisis in Solomon Islands and 10
years of conflict in Bougainville.
To help address this problem, the Prime
Minister John Howard announced at the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in
Tarawa last October that Australia would host a workshop.ï¿½
Funded by the Australian Government's
Overseas Aid Agency (AusAID), the workshop will provide participants from
Pacific island countries with targeted, practical advice to control the spread
and use of small arms in the region and in their domestic jurisdictions.
Advancing Australia's national interest by
enhancing regional stability is a major objective of Australia's overseas aid
program. The workshop will contribute to this objective by covering issues such
as enactment and enforcement of legislation, control of official armouries,
intelligence sharing, border control and weapons surrender, safe storage and
stockpiling, and destruction.
Pacific island countries to be represented
at the workshop include the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji,
Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa,
Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
information:ï¿½ David Apps 02 6261 2091