Statement by Mr. Toufiq Islam Shatil, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Thematic Debate: “Conventional Weapons”, First Committee 78th Session United Nations General, 23 October 2023

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Allow me to share our national position.


Mr. Chair,

We join others in expressing our grave concern about the increasing loss of innocent lives due to the unauthorized use of various conventional weapons worldwide. The use of small arms in conflict situations results in a staggering toll of over 200,000 civilian deaths annually.

Bangladesh is profoundly concerned about the multifaceted security, humanitarian, and socio-economic consequences arising from the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW). We emphasize the pressing need for all countries to restrict the distribution of SALW exclusively to governments or entities duly authorized by them.


Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh remains committed to fulfilling her obligations under various international instruments including the CCW and its Protocols that we are party to. We call upon all States to fulfil their international legal obligations to curb the illicit trade and indiscriminate use of conventional weapons.

Bangladesh welcomes and supports the consensus outcomes achieved at the BMS8 on the United Nations Programme of Action (UN PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. We also welcome its decision to establish a standing dedicated fellowship training programme on SALW to strengthen technical knowledge and expertise for implementation of the PoA and the International Tracing Instrument, particularly in developing countries.

We look forward to the convening of Fourth UN Conference to Review the Progress made in the implementation of the PoA in 2024. Further, we appreciate the adoption of the final report of the OEWG to elaborate a set of political commitments as a new voluntary global framework that will address existing gaps in through-life ammunition management last June.


Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh continues to remain concerned over casualties suffered by our peacekeepers due to indiscriminate use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by non-state actors in certain UN Peacekeeping missions.  We deeply condemn such attacks, which are tantamount to the commission of the gravest crimes under international law. We call upon the international community to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of this attack, so that they can be brought to justice without any delay.

We stress the critical need for further attention be given to UN peacekeeping intelligence, and to provide adequate resources and equipment to address challenges posed by IED.


Mr. Chair,

As a signatory to the Arms Trade Treaty, we reiterate that States have the sovereign right to acquire, manufacture, export, import and retain conventional arms and their components for security requirements and self-defence. We also emphasize that no unilateral coercive measure be imposed on the transfer of such arms. We are committed to the Treaty’s objective of preventing the illicit trade in conventional arms.

Bangladesh supports international initiatives against the indiscriminate use of antipersonnel landmines, cluster munitions, and conventional weapons. We are deeply concerned over the humanitarian consequences of the continued use of anti-personnel mines, including by our neighboring Myanmar. Such use of landmines is flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. We urge Myanmar to immediately stop its use of land mine and join the treaty.

As a State party to the Ottawa Convention, Bangladesh calls for full implementation of the Oslo Action Plan with firm determination in order to achieve a mine free world by 2025.

Bangladesh remains concerned over Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems and urges a comprehensive assessment of their compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.


Mr. Chair,

Let me conclude by reaffirming Bangladesh’s commitment to working constructively with the international community, to foster greater collaboration and open dialogue on Conventional Weapons with a view to achieving a safer and better future for all.

I thank you.