The fourth morning of MGE2 meetings began with a presentation by Brigadier General Coulibaly Kani Diabate, Chair of the National Commission for the Fight against Small Arms and Light Weapons of the Republic of Mali. She explained that Mali faces various challenges in its efforts to comprehensively implement the ITI and the PoA, including the lack of awareness of the population concerning the dangers posed by the proliferation of SALW and of texts related to SALW. Lack of adequate training for state and civil society actors, as well as lack of communication between national and regional level actors are also challenges. She emphasized the lack of resources in implementing projects dedicated to the eradication and control of illegal trade and manufacture of SALW. While there are existing projects to train personnel, obstacles such as the language barrier makes it difficult to implement them effectively. However, it was noted that opportunities exist that could be exploited by Mali, including civil-military cooperation and the establishment of regional focal points, as well as the existence of ECOWAS Convention on SALW. Brigadier Diabate also noted the positive results of collaboration with certain NGOs. Emphasis was put on technological needs of Mali and the needs for international and bilateral help as well as financial support to implement the ECOWAS Convention.
Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Regional Center of Small Arms (RECSA) and Sudan took the floor during the morning session, with most noting the importance of regional and international coordination and assistance. The fulfillment of the mandate of BMS5 was discussed, with questions directed to Mr. Daniel Prins of UNODA, specifically on issues concerning the BMS5 Outcome Document. Cuba, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Morocco and Pakistan called on the Secretariat to implement the mandate of Outcome Document of BMS5, specifically Paragraph 38, which calls for an in-depth research to be conducted on issues related to funding of the implementation of the PoA and the ITI.
A request was put in for Mr. Prins to elaborate on the current financing options and mechanisms for which states could request assistance or coordinate matters relating to SALW. Mr. Prins noted that current trust funds are all donor-funded, as the process to have the funds officially written into the UN budget is extremely complicated and involves many requirements to be achieved.
Austria, Belgium, and Germany offered advice and discussed their national experiences for the consideration of the council in their capacities as donor nations. Austria noted that it offers training programs on physical stockpiles that ensures that knowledge is embedded into recipient societies. Germany highlighted the role of military-civil society cooperation and the use of military as a way to build national capacity. Belgium suggested the use of highly qualified research institutions to overcome the language barrier in training.
The afternoon session saw another discussion by Mr. Prins about the options for enhanced funding of the PoA and the ITI and trust fund arrangements. He presented the principles of UN regular budget cycle and extra-budgetary funds where donors determined their own spending. Mr. Prins suggested that the implementation of effective programming would be best done, as closely as possible to the ground, by using existing mechanisms. He noted that there are already a variety of mechanism available, and that the use of already existing mechanisms would be more efficient that creating a new set of mechanisms. He addressed the existing commitments from the UN level, including improving existing trust funds, setting up a voluntary multi-donor facility on arms regulation, especially what funding projects UNSCAR have already carried out, and voluntary sponsorship fund. He proposed other options for enhanced funding, including UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women, as well as support for regional organizations and bilateral funding and technical cooperation. He called for member states to be more transparent in military budget report and have more communication with other countries in the same region.
Regarding the funding projects, Morocco stressed the need to differentiate between two categories- projects that should address the basic needs and requirements for meeting the commitments of instruments and projects that put together sub-regions or group of countries. Switzerland indicated that, based on field experience, there was a preference for state-to-state or military-to-military dialogue and wondered whether this dialogue would be provided by UNSCAR. Mr. Prins responded that the scale of how UNSCAR work and access in the oversight of the projects make it important to not directly deal with state officials but implementing partners. As one UNSCAR donor, Germany promoted more donation participation from member states to make instruments more viable, sustainable and give them more legitimacy. Belgium made note of the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) which provides an accessible online database of donor and recipient information. It encouraged recipient countries to fit national strategy into a national action plan for better donor coordination.