14 November 2017
The 3rd Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Regional Workshop on Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the UN Program of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapon (UNPoA) was held at the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila from 13-14 November 2017.
The workshop was officially opened by the Acting Director General Mr Peter Eafeare. In his opening statement, Mr Eafeare conveyed the appreciation of the MSG to the experts, Mr. Deepayan Basu Ray and Ms. Rachel Stohl of the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction (CAVR) and Pacific Small Arms Action Group PSAAG), and the Stimson Centre for facilitating the workshop as well as for the funding assistance provided that enable members to attend the workshop. The Acting Director General said that the Arms Trade Treaty and the UNPoA are important instruments to allow countries to work together to address problems associated with illicit trade and illegal use of arms.
Mr Basu Ray and Ms Stohl highlighted the importance of convening the 3rd workshop to assist MSG Members ratify/accede and implement the ATT. The workshop focussed on strengthening national and regional coordination amongst National Points of Contact (NPC), as well as identifying key elements for a formalised regional network structure.
Based on the deliberations, the workshop agreed on the next steps to take forward ratification/accession to the ATT and implementation of both the ATT and the UNPoA.