§ Lord Avebury
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What advice they will give the United Nations Security Council about the disposal of the arms and 40WA ammunition collected by sub-regional peackeepers from the ex-combatants in Liberia 1997; and whether any decision in this case may be a precedent for the disposal of weapons at the end of other internal conflicts which are settled with the help of the United Nations. [HL2774]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)
The disposal of the weapons has been under negotiation between the Government of Liberia, the UN Secretariat and the regional peacekeeping force, ECOMOG. President Taylor of Liberia has now given a public undertaking to destroy the remaining weapons on 26 July. The Librerian Foreign Minister has written to the Secretary-General asking for UN assistance in the destruction of the weapons and ammunition. The Secretariat is preparing to dispatch a small team to Monrovia.
We welcome President Taylor's undertaking. Under the EU Joint Action on small arms, the UK is committed to promoting the effective removal of surplus small arms, encompassing safe storage as well as quick and effective destruction of these weapons.