Technical and Legal Assistance Project to Support Timor-Leste in the Implementation of the UN PoA and the ATT

Start Date: Nov 19 2019
End Date: Nov 22 2019
Location: Dili, Timor-Leste
Meeting Hosted By: The Government of Timor-Leste
Meeting Supported By: UN Trust Fund Supporting Cooperation in Arms Regulation (UNSCAR)

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) successfully concluded Phase 1, the baseline assessment visit for its project to strengthen the national capacity of Timor-Leste to control transfers of small arms and light weapons (SALW), including other conventional arms, and to prevent their illicit trade and diversion.

Developed at the request of, and in cooperation with, the Government of Timor-Leste, the project is being implemented between November 2019 and Spring 2020. It will provide the Government with technical and legal assistance to facilitate its further implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all Its Aspects (PoA), as well as to support its possible future accession to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). These two global instruments provide mutually complementing and reinforcing mechanisms for countering illegal trade and illicit trafficking of SALW, and other conventional arms.

In the first stage of the project, carried out in November 2019, a technical and legal expert, as well as representatives of UNRCPD, visited Dili to conduct an initial baseline assessment. The mission met with representatives from a number of relevant ministries and state entities involved in conventional arms control, including the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, National Police, Defence Force, Office of the President, and others, to assess and identify the Government’s legal and technical assistance needs. Over the course of the visit, UNRCPD conducted a one-day workshop on the ATT and delivered presentations and briefings on its provisions, the process for accession, and the supporting resources available, as well as synergy with the PoA and related instruments, prompting engaged and comprehensive discussions with government participants. UNRCPD also carried out detailed breakout sessions focusing on legal and technical aspects, in order to provide an opportunity to the participants to identify and discuss current challenges and respective assistance needs in greater detail. The Regional Centre worked closely with the government to arrange site visits to SALW and ammunition storage facilities and was extremely gratified to be granted permission to visit border and customs facilities at the Sea and Airport, two police facilities, and two facilities of the Defence Force. On the final day, participants and the UNRCPD team met to review the preliminary outcomes of the visit and discuss the schedule and requirements for the next stages of the project.

On the basis of the findings made during the initial assessment visit, the two international experts will spend several weeks carrying out desk reviews and preparing comprehensive reports and recommendations for the improvement or further development of laws, regulations and technical procedures. These recommendations will support the compliance of national controls related to the physical security, stockpile management, as well as international transfers of SALW and other conventional arms, with international standards, and will be reviewed with the Government of Timor-Leste at the summary visit in 2020. During the summary visit, UNRCPD will work with the Government to identify routes for implementation of the recommendations provided.

The project is implemented with financial support from the United Nations Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR).

For further information, contact Mr. Yuriy Kryvonos, Director, by e-mail: