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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 9, 2001 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Up to 40 law enforcement officers and other officials from Pacific Island nations will meet in Brisbane, Australia today for a three-day conference on small arms trafficking.

"The unregulated flow of even a small number of such weapons can have a destabilizing and destructive impact on small Pacific Island communities," the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

"This has been brought into sharp focus by the recent crisis in the Solomon Islands and 10 years of conflict in Bougainville"

Australian Prime Minister John Howard promised the workshop at last year's Pacific Islands Forum meeting in October.

It intends to provide targeted, practical advice on issues such as control of official armories, intelligence sharing, border control, weapons surrender, safe-storage, stockpiling and destruction.

Representatives from Japan, New Zealand and the United States will also attend the workshop.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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