UNRCPD concludes first part of project to support Timor-Leste in implementation of UN PoA and ATT

December 16th, 2019
UNRCPD staff and technical expert discuss physical security and stockpile management with Timorese officials at President Nicolau Lobato International Airport

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) successfully concluded the baseline assessment visit for its project to strengthen the national capacity of Timor-Leste to control transfers of small arms and light weapons (SALW), including other conventional arms, and to prevent their illicit trade and diversion.

The project was developed at the request of, and in cooperation with, the Government of Timor-Leste. It provides the Government with technical and legal assistance to facilitate its further implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all Its Aspects (PoA), as well as to support its possible future accession to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). These two global instruments provide mutually complementing and reinforcing mechanisms for countering illegal trade and illicit trafficking of SALW and other conventional arms. The project is being implemented from November 2019 to spring 2020.

In the first stage of the project, carried out in November 2019, technical and legal experts, as well as representatives of UNRCPD, visited Dili to conduct an initial baseline assessment. The mission met with representatives from a number of relevant ministries and state entities involved in conventional arms control—amongst others, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the National Police, the Defence Force and the Office of the President—to assess and identify the Government’s legal and technical assistance needs.

Furthermore, UNRCPD conducted a one-day workshop on the ATT and delivered presentations and briefings on its provisions, the process for accession and available supporting resources, as well as synergy with the PoA and related instruments. Participants engaged in breakout sessions about legal and technical aspects where they identified and discussed current challenges and respective assistance needs in greater detail.

The participants visited SALW and ammunition storage facilities and had the unique opportunity to visit border and customs facilities at the sea- and airports, two police facilities and two Defence Force facilities. On the final day, participants and the UNRCPD team met to review the preliminary outcomes of the visit and discuss the schedule and requirements for the next stages of the project.

As a next step, the two international experts will prepare comprehensive reports and recommendations for the improvement or further development of laws, regulations and technical procedures. These recommendations aim to support the compliance of national controls related to the physical security and stockpile management, as well as international transfers of SALW and other conventional arms, with international standards. The Government of Timor-Leste will review the recommendations at the summary visit in 2020 and work with UNRCPD to identify ways for their implementation.

The project is implemented with financial support from the United Nations Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR).

For further information, contact Mr. Yuriy Kryvonos, UNRCPD Director: yuriy.kryvonos@un.org.

UNRCPD staff and experts carry out a site visit at arms storage facilities of the Timor-Leste Defence Force


Members of the Timorese national police and defence force discuss technical and legal challenges for the effective implementation of the PoA and ATT as part of the UNRCPD roundtable