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Workshop Addresses Small Arms Problem in the South Pacific

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Media Release

Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Following a commitment
by Prime Minister John Howard at the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in
Tarawa last October, the Federal Government has hosted a workshop for Pacific
Island Forum countries on controlling the movement of small arms and light
weapons.� The workshop was held in
Brisbane from 9-11 May.�

The workshop promoted
an informal and fruitful exchange on the range of social, political and
economic issues affecting Pacific island countries, and the adverse impact of
the spread and accumulation of small arms on regional security.� Law enforcement, military, government and
non-government experts from Australia and the region led discussions on a range
of issues, including the implementation and enforcement of legislation, law
enforcement cooperation, weapons accountancy, post-conflict situations and
customs controls.�

A key aspect of the
workshop involved the discussion and further elaboration of draft model legislation
to establish a common regional approach to weapon control.� This model legislation is being developed
for the Regional Security Committee of the Pacific Islands Forum.� The direct input of Pacific Island countries
at the workshop will help to ensure that the model legislation meets their
particular needs.�

Recognising the
connections between security problems in the region and the leakage of small
arms from official armouries, participants at the workshop were briefed by
police and military officials on safe storage and management practices for
Government-owned weapons.� Participants
made on-site visits to Australian Defence Force and Queensland Police Service

Many participants
acknowledged the importance of Pacific island countries contributing to
international efforts to combat the small arms problem, including the United
Nations International Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light
Weapons in all its Aspects, to be held in July.

Countries represented
at the workshop were: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji,
Japan, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New
Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States and Vanuatu.

inquiries:� 02 6261 1555


Last Updated: 19 September 2014
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