Mr. President,

Switzerland thanks Mexico for organising this debate.

Diversion and illicit proliferation of arms and ammunition fuel conflicts around the world. To ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian personnel and peacekeepers, and to sustain peace, we must all contribute to preventing illicit flows and reducing the demand for arms and ammunition. The Security Council can play an important role by paying particular attention to three elements:

My first concern has to do with the analytical capacity of UN missions. The quantity and diversity of weapons and ammunition in circulation are good indicators of a threat to international peace and security. It is important that missions give greater consideration to these indicators in their risk analysis. For this reason, Switzerland supports the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research in the development of an arms-specific risk analysis tool. Switzerland therefore calls on the Security Council to strengthen the risk analysis capacities of UN missions in this area.

Second, we should promote innovation in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) processes. The UN has developed, for example, the Community Violence Reduction tool. This innovative tool reduces the flow of and the demand for illicit weapons, and addresses the drivers of conflict in contexts where a traditional DDR programme is not yet possible. In this context, it is essential to address the specific protection needs of women and children and to include them as agents of change in community violence reduction measures. The Security Council should more systematically consider such measures when mandating missions. Switzerland, for its part, will continue to provide DDR experts to support the Secretariat and missions.

Third, sustainable national capacities are key to preventing the diversion of arms and ammunition and better implementing arms embargoes. This requires the UN and its member states to assist host states of UN presences to strengthen their technical expertise, as well as their organisational structures, processes, and capacities. Such a support will help institutionalize this knowhow. Concerning the safe and secure management of ammunition, the UN International Ammunition Technical Guidelines provide a robust approach, recognized by Resolution 2220(2015). When mandating missions, the Security Council should pay particular attention to building sustainable national capacities. Switzerland will continue to support the further development of these guidelines and their implementation in concerned states.

Mr. President,

Combating the illicit flow and the abuse of arms and ammunition is essential for peace, security and sustainable development. The Security Council should therefore consider these challenges across its agenda. As a candidate for the Council, Switzerland will continue to advocate for an integrated approach to this issue in the spirit of the Secretary-General's Agenda for Disarmament, in which he emphasizes: “we need a new focus on disarmament that saves lives”.

I thank you.