Press Releases

     
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      UNIS/SG/2724
          21 November 2000
     Secretary-General, Speaking of “World Awash with Small Arms”, 
    Presents Report On Weapons Destruction to Security Council President  

    NEW YORK, 20 November (UN Headquarters) -- This is the text of remarks by Secretary- General Kofi Annan today, when presenting to the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, Jozias van Aartsen (whose country holds the current presidency of the Security Council), a copy of the Secretary-General’s report on the methods of destruction of small arms, light weapons, ammunition and explosives:

     Mr. Foreign Minister, in September 1999, during the last presidency of the Netherlands, the Security Council met to discuss the issue of small arms.  At the end of that session, the Council asked me to develop a reference manual on weapons destruction that would assist Member States in disposing of weapons voluntarily surrendered by civilians or retrieved from former combatants, and doing so in an environmentally sound manner.

     I am pleased to announce that we have taken a significant interimm step towards this manual -– the report that I am now pleased to submit to the Security Council, which should prove useful to trained professionals worldwide who are grappling with this problem.  I would like to thank the Government of the Netherlands for the generous financial support it has provided in the preparation of this report, which enabled us to draw on technical expertise from a number of Member States.

     When the manual itself is completed, the world community will have at its disposal a practical tool to use in addressing one of the gravest threats to international peace and security in the new millennium.  In a world awash with small arms, that will be no small achievement.

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