India's Intervention for OEWG on Conventional Ammunition by Ms Subhashini Narayanan, Counsellor (Disarmament), PMI to CD, Geneva at UN Headquarters, New York on 23 May 2022 India's Intervention for OEWG on Conventional Ammunition by Ms Subhashini Narayanan, Counsellor (Disarmament), PMI to CD, Geneva at UN Headquarters, New York on 23 May 2022

India's Intervention for OEWG on Conventional Ammunition by Ms Subhashini Narayanan, Counsellor (Disarmament), PMI to CD, Geneva at UN Headquarters, New York on 23 May 2022

Muchas Gracias Sra Vice Presidenta

India congratulates you on assuming the role of Vice Chair of the Open Ended Working Group on Conventional Ammunition. My delegation assures you of our constructive participation in the meetings of the Group. We thank High Representative Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu for her thought provoking remarks today and Chair of the OEWG Mr. Albrecht Von Wittke for all his efforts and determination to pursue the work of our Group. We also thank the Secretariat for their hard work.

2.  India has taken note of the report of the Group of Governmental Experts on problems arising fromthe accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles.

3.  India voted in favor of Resolution 76/233 that established the OEWG to address existing gaps in through-life ammunition management. We look forward to in-depth consideration in our Group of holistic approaches to safe, secure and accountable management of conventional ammunition throughout its life cycle. As we commence our substantive work, we wish to place on record that India would have preferred that the OEWG worked on the principle of consensus, a preference that we have consistently supported.

Madame Vice-Chair

4.  India is aware of its obligations towards safe, secure and responsible management of conventional ammunition. India has undertaken robust national effortsthrough appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks to address conventional ammunition management from the point of manufacture until its disposal or use. India also exercises effective national controls over the transfer of conventional ammunition, necessary to prevent diversion and illicit transfers of all types of ammunition.

5.  Under the Arms Act 1959 and the Arms Rules 2016 of India, it is prohibited to manufacture, sale, acquisition, possession, transfer, import-export, transport, storage of ammunition without a license.

6.  Recognizing the importance of marking of ammunition, elaborate provisions have been made under our Arms Rules 2016 for marking of ammunition at the time of manufacturing, maintenance of record of transactions by the ammunition manufacturers and periodic inspections of ammunition manufacturing facilities and their records by the licensing authority. India has strict enforcement procedures including audits and inspections of ammunition and appropriate penal provisions against offenders.

7.  India maintains a National Database of Arms and Ammunition, National Database of Arms License- Arms Licenses Issuances System (NDAL-ALIS) portal. Every manufacturer/dealer in the country is registered on the portal through the licensing authority and allotted credentials for access. They are required to upload detailed information on their transactions on the portal on a weekly basis. Manufacturers must also provide for a monthly electronic online transfer of data regarding ammunition manufactured and sold or transferred or consumed for the month and as recorded in the register specified under Arms Rules 2016.

8.  Furthermore, the Arms Act and Rules also contain provisions to regulate manufacture, sale, import and export of ammunition. Provisions are also in place for maintenance of inventory for different categories of confiscated, captured, seized, recovered or surrendered ammunition and their destruction. Violations of provisions of Arms Act and Rules are dealt with strictly. In 2019, the existing frameworks have been further strengthened through Arms (Amendment) Act 2019.

9.  India believes that capacity building and assistance efforts are crucial in addressing critical gaps in ammunition management and looks forward to augmenting national efforts and supporting global initiatives on this topic.

10.  Having fought the scourge of terrorism for many decades, India is fully aware of the perils of diversionand illicit transfer of ammunition to armed non-State actors and terrorists. It is imperative that all States exercise extra caution in preventing illicit transfer or diversion of ammunition to unauthorized non-State actors, including terrorist groups.

11.  In conclusion, Madame Vice Chair, my delegation hopes that our deliberations in the OEWG will be productive in understanding various perspectives on ammunition and develop mechanisms in this regard. 

I thank you!