The United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Conventional Ammunition has culminated in an agreement to a new global framework for conventional ammunition management, with Australia being one of the parties.
The voluntary global framework is a set of political commitments aiming to address gaps in through-life ammunition management to reduce firearm crime and map ammunition movement.
The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) expressed opposition to one concept discussed during the OEWG’s process, when the feasibility of marking individual ammunition cases was discussed. The reasoning for this concern was the impact this measure could have on industry having to introduce cumbersome marking processes to their production and how the concept could affect the practices of reloading and reusing empty cartridges.
On 9 June, the OEWG agreed on the new global framework for conventional ammunition management and it is expected to be considered and adopted in the UN General Assembly September meeting. This set of political commitments is captured in 15 objectives covering issues such as storage, transfer, marking, tracing, disposal, law enforcement and international cooperation.
A spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Australia is fully supportive of the recommendations of the voluntary framework. They said Australian representatives argued for maintaining the strength of elements of the framework most essential to our interests – including small arms ammunition, diversion risk assessments, and gender mainstreaming.
The objectives agreed to under the global frameworks apply to national stockpiles and conventional ammunition under national ownership and control. DFAT has assured SSAA National that there are no specific obligations imposed on civilians who own ammunition.