Mr President,

I want to thank the speakers for their contributions.

The modest amount of $130 is enough to buy an AK-47 assault rifle in Afghanistan, according to Lynne O'Donnell in Foreign Policy. This price reflects the current widespread availability of small arms and light weapons, which is fuelling the scourges of their illicit trade and misuse. This flow of weapons is both a source and a symptom of conflict. As the Secretary-General points out, it continues "to undermine peace and security at the national, regional and global levels, in ways that impede the sustainable development of States". In particular, it hinders the elimination of discrimination in all its forms, one of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda. This is underlined by the fact that small arms and light weapons are used in 70 to 90 per cent of cases of conflict-related sexual violence.

Switzerland welcomes Ecuador's emphasis on gender aspects in today's debate. And we stress the positive role that this Council can play in curbing the harmful effects of small arms:

Firstly, our commitment, at both multilateral and national levels, to small arms and light weapons must take account of the women, peace and security agenda. The recommendations of the network of women, peace and security focal points can inspire the Council's action. This involves, for example, providing better training for senior personnel, strengthening national legislation and encouraging ongoing engagement with civil society. Within the informal group of experts on women, peace and security, co-led by Switzerland, we are also committed to improving the recording of cases of misuse of weapons.

Secondly, implementing embargoes adopted by this Council is crucial to curbing the illicit trade in light weapons. Resolution 2616 (2021) sets important milestones by recommending, in particular, the marking, tracing and registration of weapons in accordance with established standards. The Council should encourage States to consider the risks of international law violations that the use of these weapons could entail. This also implies considering the risk of severe acts of sexual violence being committed with these weapons.

Thirdly, while the supply of weapons must be reduced, the root causes of demand must also be addressed. This is why the New Agenda for Peace proposes integrating small arms into violence prevention strategies. With this in mind, last week, Switzerland co-organised a regional seminar in West Africa on the links between violence prevention and the management of conventional weapons. One of the key recommendations was to ensure the participation of women in weapons management and violence prevention. Filling judicial and security gaps so that transnational organised crime does not exploit them is fundamental to limiting demand. The missions mandated by this Council must have the necessary capacity to support States in this task. Particularly during transitions, it is necessary to strengthen the components of UN missions - such as the United Nations police and the judicial and penitentiary services - responsible for developing the capacity of bodies responsible for maintaining public order and the rule of law.

Mr President,

Switzerland welcomes the New Agenda for Peace and the Global Framework for Conventional Ammunition Management - the latter adopted last week by the General Assembly – which recognise the harmful and disproportionate impact on women of the illicit trade and misuse of small arms and light weapons. The time has come to focus on implementation. International Geneva, with its actors such as UNIDIR, DCAF and the Small Arms Survey, will remain committed to supporting the development of concrete and effective measures to sustainably reduce the human cost of these weapons.

I thank you.