The destabilising accumulation, spread and misuse of small arms and light weapons contributes to the breakdown of law and order in many regions, including in the Asia Pacific. This, in turn, adversely affects the prospects for good governance, human rights and socio-economic development in many countries. Australia and other members of the international community recognise the need for early, concerted action to address the problems posed by small arms and light weapons.
United Nations Programme of Action
A United Nations international conference on the illicit arms trade in all its aspects was held in July 2001. The Conference adopted by consensus the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (Programme of Action), providing the framework to combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons at national, regional and international levels. The second review conference took place in September 2012 in New York.