HL Deb 01 April 2003 vol 646 c113WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What were the main results of the recent Small Arms Conference, jointly sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and Ministry of Defence; and why there was no agreed communiqué. [HL2196]

The Minister for Trade (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)

I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave my noble friend Lady Golding on 20 January (WA 74).

A few states attending the conference could not agree the proposed consensus communiqué, despite a clear majority in favour of the recommendations and great efforts by the chair to find common ground. Therefore, the chairman, having consulted the participants, decided to issue a chairman's summary that outlined the key findings of the conference.

Her Majesty's Government are keen to build on the notable gains and momentum of the conference. In addition to a follow-up meeting, under UK auspices, to exchange information in the margins of the UN biennial meeting in July, we are also supportive of other efforts in this field, such as the Dutch-Norwegian conference on brokering in Oslo in April. Over the next few years, the UK aims to forge partnerships across regions, promoting common understanding and widening and building support for the UN process in this important area.