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Committee on the Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms Met at OAS

  May 7, 2014

The Organization of American States (OAS) hosted this week the Fifteenth Meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Related Materials (CIFTA). Adopted in 1997, CIFTA is recognized as the region’s first legally binding instrument to combat firearms trafficking.

The meeting at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC provided an opportunity for firearms experts from throughout the region to exchange information and experiences for preventing and combating firearms trafficking in such areas as import and export controls and firearms marking and tracing. Member states also adopted two examples of model legislation aimed at facilitating implementation of the CIFTA in the area of security measures and recordkeeping, with the purpose of strengthening cooperation and coordination in this critical area.

In the Americas, 35% of homicides are committed with firearms – twice the global average. Considering these and other data, the OAS and its leader, Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, are and have long been committed to the full ratification and implementation of CIFTA. “The illicit trafficking of firearms is one of organized crime’s main manifestations in the region,” said the OAS leader, and thus “we must focus our efforts on legislative reforms and specific measures to prevent and control arms trafficking, including broader cooperation at the national, regional and international levels.”

The CIFTA emphasizes the need for authorizations or licenses of export, imports and transit; and the reinforcement of control at points of exports, amongst other things. The Convention thus seeks to promote and facilitate the cooperation and exchange of information and experiences between States. The Convention established a Consultative Committee constituted by a representative for each State Party in order to guarantee its implementation, to promote the exchange of information, to facilitate cooperation and to foster training between States. To date, CIFTA has been ratified by 31 OAS member states. The OAS Department of Public Security serves as the CIFTA Technical Secretariat.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-192/14