1 Mar 2012

Pacific developing a common position on UN's Arms Trade Treaty

7:42 pm on 1 March 2012

Talks this week in Brisbane are focussing on the illicit trade in firearms and how to reduce the threat of armed conflict in the Pacific.

The delegates, who include regional political leaders and representatives of non government organisations, are also trying to develop a regional position on the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

Oxfam New Zealand's Luke Roughton says negotiations on the Treaty, which will be legally binding, are about to start.

He says it aims to lay out clear rules for governments on the import of legal weapons, and also rein in the trade in illegal guns.

"In terms of illicit trafficking what we hope it will do is provide, on top of the clear guidelines also a mechanism for international co-operation and assistance. So that countries requiring assistance in implementing the Treaty which may include monitoring those shipments, then that assistance will hopefully be made available to them. It is not a cure all for the problem, but it is quite a large step forward."