Apr 29, 2014 - represented here today by Mr. Wolfgang Rudischhauser, Chair of the Working Party on Non-. Proliferation,
Virginia Gamba Director of the Office for Disarmament Affairs and Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs United Nations
Inaugural Meeting of the UN SaferGuard Technical Review Board and the UN SaferGuard Strategic Coordination Group for the implementation of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG)
New York, NY 29 April 2014
Esteemed members of the UN SaferGuard Technical Review Board, Esteemed members of the UN SaferGuard Strategic Coordination Group, I warmly welcome you to this Inaugural Meeting which is the first time the Board and the Coordination Group meet together. It marks a new phase in the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines and is made possible through the financial support of the European Union, which is represented here today by Mr. Wolfgang Rudischhauser, Chair of the Working Party on NonProliferation, European External Action Service. In 2008, the General Assembly mandated the UN to develop guidelines on ammunition management because all Member States of the UN recognized that the dual risks of unintended ammunition explosions and of diversion of ammunition into the illicit market were grave threats that needed to be addressed at the global level. Charged with this mandate, the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, with the full involvement of the UN Mine Action Service, began work on this. But we knew that we would not be able to develop globally-recognised Guidelines on our own. This is why the Technical Review Panel was formed in 2009. This Panel consisted of highly-qualified experts from seven countries from around the world – many of whom are here in this room today – who have been with us every step of the way in the development and review of the Guidelines, sharing generously their great expertise and experience. After three year of hard work, the completion of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines and the establishment of the UN SaferGuard Programme to oversee the Guidelines were successfully welcomed by all Members of the UN General Assembly in 2011. With the successful completion of the Guidelines, we have now entered the implementation phase. This also means that the Technical Review Panel that reviewed the IATG during its development has now been transformed into the UN SaferGuard Technical Review Board. The Board will provide technical advice on the implementation of the IATG. During the next day and a half, the Board, together with other valued partners, who form our Strategic Coordination Group in the UN SaferGuard process, will take stock of the implementation and roll-out of the IATG. And on the second day in particular, you will be considering crucial next steps in the implementation process. This is an exciting moment for the UN SaferGuard programme and the IATG. Going forward, we will together have many opportunities to improve ammunition stockpile management around the world, helping to save lives and livelihoods. I would like to express my deep-felt thanks to all of you for your continued commitment to the issue, and for the generous sharing of your time and expertise. I wish you a most fruitful meeting.