Vatican Urges Pact Against Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

NEW YORK, JULY 9, 2003 ( The Vatican proposed to the international community that an agreement be adopted to eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

The request came during an address by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See’s permanent observer at the United Nations, at the first U.N. biennial meeting of states on trade in these arms.

The archbishop made two proposals. The first is to address the issue of state responsibility for halting illicit arms transfers, as “it is states which have the capability of reducing and eliminating the death and destruction that result from the availability and use of small arms and light weapons,” he said.

“The second is to begin, without any undue delay, the process of discussing a comprehensive, legally binding agreement on international arms trade that will reduce and eventually eradicate the illicit traffic of small arms and light weapons.”