Citation(s) from the literature library

Alpers, Philip and Conor Twyford. 2003 ‘Stockpiles and Trafficking in the Pacific: Armoury Management.’ Small Arms in the Pacific; Occasional Paper No. 8, p. 13. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 31 March

Relevant contents

"I'm the most powerful man in the country. I hold the key to the armoury."

— A Pacific Island delegate, speaking at a small arms seminar in Tokyo. (11)

Inadequate accounting and poor stockpile management are common problems in many Pacific states, making estimates of inventories difficult and endangering national security - and by extension, peace and stability in the region.

In Papua New Guinea, for example, a 2001 Eminent Person's Group (EPG) report commented that 'poor accounting procedures have led to uninvestigated and unexplained losses, damaging the Force's standing with the public'.

In the Solomon Islands, an International Peace Monitoring Team (IPMT) audit, in 2001, of the central police armoury, found that there were no proper accounting measures in evidence for the storage of ammunition and explosives; and that little knowledge existed on explosive storage accounting and regulations, or on weapons accounting and servicing procedures.

In Fiji, accounting for firearms in the wake of the May 2000 coup has been complicated by the lack of data on pre-existing military stocks.

Personnel in Pacific countries often lack the training to safely dispose of obsolete firearms and sweaty ammunition.


11) Comment made at the Pacific Islands Countries Regional Seminar on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects held in Tokyo, 20-22 Jan. 2003. The delegate, who shall remain nameless, was reflecting on the responsibility he feels at holding the key to his nation's armoury, and expresses the power that weapons have to influence societies in the Pacific and any other region.

ID: Q315

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