UN Regional Centre wraps up project to support Timor-Leste’s implementation of arms control frameworks

February 20th, 2020

From 11 to 13 February 2020, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) conducted a final briefing meeting with Timor-Leste officials, successfully concluding a Technical and Legal Assistance project aimed at strengthening national capacity to prevent the illicit trade and diversion of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and conventional ammunition.

Mr. Alfredo Lubang discusses the report’s findings with Mr. Vicente Gusmao of Timor-Leste’s National Police Department.

Developed at the request of, and in cooperation with, the Government of Timor-Leste, the three-phase project began with an assessment visit completed in November 2019. Afterward, a group of international technical and legal experts produced their reports with recommendations for building Timor-Leste’s capacity to implement the Arms Trade Treaty, and for carrying out activities related to the United Nations Programme of Action on SALW.

Mr. Jesuino Alves, Director-General of the Department on Multilateral Cooperation in Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explains UNRCPD’s recommendations from the project.

Working with these experts, UNRCPD incorporated the recommendations into a draft National Action Plan in support of the Government’s efforts under the Programme of Action and its internal review on joining the Arms Trade Treaty. The Regional Centre provided the two reports and the draft National Action Plan to Timor-Leste in advance of this internal review and as preparation for the final briefing visit, and these documents were subsequently submitted to the Office of the President and the Parliament.

Mr. Jesuino Alves discusses the expert recommendations and draft National Action Plan with Ministry of Foreign Affairs legal experts.

The expert recommendations and draft National Action Plan received positive feedback from Timor-Leste officials at the final briefing meeting, which included presentations of the documents followed by candid discussion about proposals in the draft plan.

Mr. Yuriy Kryvonos, UNRCPD Director, and Mr. Alfredo Lubang present the draft National Action Plan to implement the Programme of Action and the Arms Trade Treaty.

Participants affirmed that both the legal and technical recommendations as well as the draft National Action Plan would help inform a final decision on moving the country towards the Arms Trade Treaty. Notably, they highlighted a proposal in the draft plan to introduce measures for national gender-responsive small-arms control, including legislative frameworks and the collection and analysis of sex- and age-disaggregated data. Participants also discussed organizing an in-country training programme on this matter in the framework of the European Union-funded project on gender and SALW, an initiative welcomed by Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Yuriy Kryvonos stands alongside Timor-Leste officials after concluding their final briefing meeting.

Additionally, UNRCPD representatives briefed participants on how to conduct a national SALW survey and implement other measures identified through guidance from the Modular Small-arms-control Implementation Compendium (MOSAIC).

The Technical and Legal Assistance project took place 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.