Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons – Third Review Conference


In 2001, countries adopted the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA). In it, governments agreed to improve national small arms regulations, to strengthen stockpile management, to ensure that weapons are properly and reliably marked, to improve cooperation in weapons tracing, and to engage in regional and international cooperation and assistance.

Programme of Action

Marking, record-keeping, and tracing

In 2005, the General Assembly adopted the International Tracing Instrument (ITI), which specifically provides a framework for cooperation in weapons tracing – thus fulfilling one of the commitments governments made in the PoA.

International Tracing Instrument [A] [C] [E] [F] [R] [S]

Improving weapons tracing is also part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Meetings and national reports on PoA and ITI are always combined.

Periodic review of implementation

A conference to review the progress made in the implementation of the PoA is convened every six years. Between review conferences, Biennial Meetings of States (BMS) are held. Additionally, States have held Meetings of Governmental Experts (MGE) to benefit from the knowledge of technical specialists on matters pertaining to small arms and light weapons control.

Timeline PoA process and meetings