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Large scale influx of weapons to conflict-affected zones raises ‘many concerns’: UN disarmament chief |


“These concerns need to be given due consideration and the international community has a number of tools, such as the United Nations Register of Conventional Weapons, to enhance transparency in the transfer of weapons. weapons,” she marked.

“I encourage States to use such mechanisms.”

Public knowledge

Ms. Nakamitsu emphasized that it is a public issue that since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Ukraine has received weapons and ammunition systems from several countries for their self-defense forces.

“Information about the transfer of those materials has been made public by the governments concerned,” she said, adding that the arms transfers included heavy conventional weapons. such as battle tanks, armored fighting vehicles, large artillery systems and non-engined combat aircraft. , as well as small arms and light weapons.

The senior UN official added that there have also been numerous independently and widely verified reports of the transfer of major conventional weapons systems to local armed groups in Ukraine, including artillery missile system.


An unexploded ordinance, in Bucha, Ukraine.

© ICRC

An unexploded ordinance, in Bucha, Ukraine.

Out of supply

Considering the devastating impact on civilians and civilian infrastructure caused by heavy weaponry in Ukraine, Ms. Nakamitsu emphasized that apart from the issue of supply, Security Council should focus on how these weapons are being used.

“The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 13,917 verified civilian casualties since February 24. The actual number is believed to be significantly higher,” she said.

Most civilian casualties were recorded as a result of large-area explosive weapons, including attacks by heavy artillery, multiple rocket launchers, missiles, and aircraft.

The head of UN disarmament sounded Secretary General António Guterres on the serious humanitarian impact of explosive weapons in densely populated areas.

“Under international humanitarian law, militants must not direct attacks against civilians or civilian infrastructure and take all possible precautions when conducting military operations. to avoid, or at least to minimize, accidental loss of life, injury to civilians, and damage to civilian objects,” she reminded the 15 ambassadors.


Izumi Nakamitsu, Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (file).

UN photo / Ekinder Debebe

Izumi Nakamitsu, Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (file).

It’s time to end suffering

Finally, Ms. Nakamitsu reiterated her call for an end to conflict and the suffering caused by heavy conventional weapons.

We have witnessed terrible devastation — with thousands of civilians killed and wounded, most from the use of heavy conventional weapons,” she said.

“Now is the time to end this suffering. Let us be determined to continue working for peace in accordance with international law and the UN Charter,” concluded the UN’s disarmament chief.



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