PACIFIC NATIONS TO DEVELOP JOINT WEAPONS CONTROL SYSTEM

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (October 26, 1998 - Radio Australia)---Delegates to last week's South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference in the Solomon Islands, expressing concern over weapons proliferation in the Pacific Islands region, have agreed to develop a common approach to weapons control.

They have decided the best control methods involve monitoring weapons shipments, strict legislation and sanctions.

Countries represented at the meeting were Australia, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the host country, the Solomon Islands.

Commissioner of Police in Honiara, Frank Short, said cooperation among Pacific countries is essential.

"It's been reported that movement of arms around the South Pacific is taking place without formal controls," he said.

Short pointed out that there has been transshipment of arms from one country to another without either country being aware of it. "And I think it's important that each country has knowledge of what is taking place."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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