The United Nations resident co-ordinator to Papua New Guinea, David McLachlan-Karr, says gun control in the country is a matter of urgency.
Marking International Day of Peace, Mr McLachlan-Karr, says PNG is no stranger to conflict, with competition over land, resources and local political tensions often leading to violence.
He says the most affected by fighting are very often the most vulnerable - the women, children and the elderly - who are least able to defend themselves.
Mr McLachlan-Karr says the increasing use of high-powered weaponry is of particular concern and gun control and weapons disposal need to be tackled as matters of priority.
PNG is about to send peace keepers to the Sudan but Mr McLachlan-Karr says peace building must begin at home and the UN is prepared to help the government foster a culture of peace in the country.