WFSA Presentation to the COLFO AGM 26 April 2009
Tom Mason has been doing UN firearms matters since 1995. He is the Executive Secretary – US - for the WFSA. He handled COLFO’s successful application to be an UN NGO. NGO status is important because it gives one automatic access to UN Conferences. There are over 3,000 NGOs and COLFO is one of only five pro-firearm, pro-hunting NGOs. The others are Safari Cub International, Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia, SAAMI (American firearms manufacturers) and the NRA.
Major UN International Programs on Small Arms, Light Weapons (SALW) and firearms
Programme of Action on SALW (POA) - Started in 2001, very comprehensive with programmes (gun buys backs, model regulations, etc) all over the world. The POA has large biennial meetings - COLFO has attended - and the next one will be in 2010. There will be a POA meeting in Sydney May 18-19.
UN Firearms Protocol (UNFP) - The UNFP is in effect. There are frequent meeting in Vienna and the major issues involves marking and tracing of firearms.
Arms Trade Treaty - The UN is in a three year process of drafting an Arms Trade Treaty. There will be a major meeting in NY the week of July 13th and a regional meeting in Indonesia. (More.)
International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) - This is a major non-treaty UN regulatory effort out of Geneva.
There are at least 12 UN meeting scheduled for this year alone.
Why COLFO is Unique and Important
COLFO has developed a good reputation at the UN. It is the "good cop." Joe Green has been a great asset and the good relationship with the NZ government is invaluable. COLFO ability to speak and relate benefits all of the other hunting and sport shooting groups in the world.
COLFO Possibly Role with the ATT
Dell Higgie the NZ representative to the ATT committee made a strong statement in March that civilian firearms should be excluded. We are going to build on this at the July 13-17 meeting by having a "side event" and inviting Higgie and some other selected delegates to speak. The WFSA has allocated money for this event. It would be helpful to have COLFO there to symbolically support Higgie. It would also be helpful to have Joe Green there.
Suggestions for What COLFO Can Do Internationally
Be present at the July ATT meeting.
Be present at the September ATT regional meeting in Indonesia.
Increase it membership level in the WFSA to "voting member" so it can speak with the same voice as the other major organizations (NRA, SSAA, SCI). (I can send the application.)
Resurrect the Pacific Forum - there is interest in joining the forum from both Canadian and US groups.
Please realize the important role that COLFO plays - NZ may be a small country but COLFO role can be equal to that of any of the large organizations. You have laid the foundation by John Howat's work, Joe Green's work and the fact you are an official UN NGO. Please take advantage of this opportunity.
World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities http://www.wfsa.net/