In 2001, UN memberStates acceded to a politically binding agreement to tackle small arms, amidsta growing awareness that the illicit manufacture, transfer and circulation ofSALWs (and their excessive accumulation and spread) were undermining humansecurity and development. Governments agreed to improve national small arms laws,import/export controls and stockpile management, all while engaging incooperation and assistance. As a supplement tothis, the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) was also adopted, whichrequires States to ensure that weapons are properly marked and records arekept. Further, it provides a framework for cooperation in weapons tracingfulfilling.  It is tricky tomeasure the effectiveness of PoA because of the lack of any formal monitoringprocess and the open-ended nature of its commitments, with a lack of concretesteps provided. Generally, however, reporting on implementation of the PoA hasgenerally been favourable- for example, between 2002 and 2010, 158 memberStates reported at least once on the implementation of PoA, and over 600national reports have been submitted since 2002, indicating a promising levelof participation by State parties.

In 2016, during the Sixth Biennial Meetingof States to Consider the Implementation of the PoA, States made progress indiscussions on key areas such as technological developments in SALW manufactureand the contribution of the PoA to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda forSustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda, adopted in September 2015,represented a recognition by Member States that sustainable development cannotbe realised without peace and security and that peace and security would be atrisk without sustainable development. Further, in its2017 substantive session, the Disarmament Commission adopted by consensusrecommendations on practical confidence-building measures in the field ofconventional weapons. This marked the first time in nearly two decades that theCommission managed to adopt measures to enhance cooperation and buildconfidence with a view to promoting progress in arms control. 


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