The Philippines has urged the United Nations Security Council to institute measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring small arms and light weapons, which forms part of the operations of terrorists” through smuggling.
Ambassador Ariel R. Peñaranda, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations, stressed the need to effectively address the diversion of small arms and light weapons that may eventually end up in the hands of terrorists.
Peñaranda conveyed the Philippine position during the UN Security Council Open Debate on Nov. 22 which focused on the impact of diversion and trafficking of arms on peace and security.
According to Peñaranda, arms smuggling forms part of the operations of terrorists, and that the recent experience of the Philippines demonstrated “how civilians paid a high price with dozens
killed and widespread destruction of homes and property amid the “Battle of Marawi” that pitted the Philippine military against militants allied to ISIS.”
Peñaranda recommended four points upon which the Security Council could focus to combat diversion and trafficking of arms.
These are improving data analysis, building capacity of states, strengthening engagement with industry stakeholders, and inclusion of ammunition in discussions on combating diversion and trafficking of small arms and light weapons.
In a briefing for the Security Council, Director Robin Geiss of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research said that the diversion and trafficking of arms “destabilizes communities and exacerbates situations of insecurity, including by committing serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as violence against women and children in various contexts.”