Silencing Guns in Africa by 2020: What role can the Kinshasa Convention play?

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) have organised in collaboration with the Government of Cameroon, a sub-regional workshop to strengthen the technical capacities of the actors involved in the implementation of the Kinshasa Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in Yaoundé, from 24 to 26 April 2019. The workshop has benefited from the technical support of CPS-AVIP whose contribution had a focus on the gender perspective in the implementation of the Kinshasa Convention on Small Arms and Action Plan.

The Kinshasa Convention was unanimously adopted on 30 April 2010 in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, under the United Nations Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its aspects. This sub-regional instrument for the regulation and fight against illicit trade and trafficking in SALW entered into force on 8 March 2017. Of the eleven (11) signatory States, seven (7) ratified the Convention, namely, Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe and Chad. The National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) voted on 23 November 2018, the law for the ratification of the Convention.

For three days, participants were trained and supported in establishing SALW control mechanisms in their respective countries, strengthening the capacities of Central African states and formulating an action plan for effective implementation to contribute in silencing guns in Africa by 202. As part of CPS – AVIP’s advocacy on gender dimension as presented by Ms Meeti, the representative of CPS - AVIP. Satisfaction as it has turned out that the message of the CPS – AVIP was well received and understood. As a fact, the Yaoundé Declaration at the end of the three days of work underlined recommendations including CPS – AVIP's contribution concerning gender perspective:

1. The representation of women's experts in the National Committees on the SAWL under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).
2. Strengthening gender parity in the various initiatives aimed at silencing guns in Africa by 2020.

Finally, the integration of the gender perspective in peace and security initiatives is crucial to give women and men the same opportunities to play roles in all actions carried out in the context of the implementation of the Kinshasa Convention at the normative, institutional and operational level.


Jean Claude Kabuiku
CPS - AVIP / Birmingham - United Kingdom

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Reflecting on the Third Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty

Geneva, Switzerland, 11 - 15 September 2017 States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty [CSP 2017] have gathered to follow up on the implementation and universalisation of the treaty. This gathering was an opportunity for critical players at global sphere to take meaningful actions to reduce human suffering. While diplomats from 106 countries and civil society organisations attended the conference, procedural matters sometimes got more unnecessary attention rather than focusing on the main issue of reducing human suffering caused by the unregulated arms trade. CPS – AVIP was represented at the conference by Nounou Booto Meeti [Programme Director] under the umbrella of the Control Arms coalition.

There is an urgent need to turn words into deeds, to prevent the irreparable harm caused when weapons fall into the wrong hands. Many states stressed the vital role of civil society in achieving the Treaty's object and purpose. However, a sad reality has been that while the world convened in Geneva to reduce human suffering caused by arms and looking for ways to implement instruments for better regulation, paradoxically held at the same time as the world’s largest arms fair in London. This act has questioned the global will to reduce human sufferings caused by the illicit and misuse of arms.

States signatory to the treaty had the opportunity during this implementation session to directly address arms sales to users that may violate human rights and international laws, but surprisingly there were no enthusiasm nor boldness to mention the issue. While some countries exporters of arms were present at the session, skepticism persists whether is there any robust ambition to regulate arms trade globally.

Many other issues need to be resolved as to how the implementation of the treaty will be useful. Issues highlighted included: General Implementation, Transit & Transhipment, Brokering and Diversion. Furthermore, the subject of how to link the Arms Trade Treaty and Sustainable Development Goals was the first thematic debate at the Conference. Many diplomats underlined in an interactive discussion, focusing mainly on the links between the Arms Trade Treaty and SDGs 16. How to achieve peace and justice which can sustain development if the trade of arms is not regulated, the treaty risk to be considered as an empty slogan from developing countries perspectives. 

Jean Claude Kabuiku / Control Arms 
CPS - AVIP / Birmingham - United Kingdom

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Capacity Building

Building State Capacity to Implement the Arms Trade Treaty

large_13_1.jpgThe Centre for Peace, Security and Armed Violence Prevention [CPS-AVIP] participated at the Executive Education Course on the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty organised by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy [GCSP] and hosted by the African Centre for Peace and Security Training (ACPST) in Addis Abba/Ethiopia from 9th to 13th November 2015.

The course aimed to provide training to government officials involved in the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty in French speaking African countries. The initiative has been helpful in order to meet the needs of African signatories and parties to the Treaty on how to implement its provisions effectively.

The goal of the course was to contribute to fulfilling the main objectives of the Arms Trade Treaty by establishing common international standards for regulating the global trade in conventional arms and preventing and eradicating the illicit trade in and diversion of conventional arms.

Jean Claude Kabuiku
CPS - AVIP / Birmingham - United Kingdom
Tel: +44 121 448 6336

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