Members of Parliament gather for peace-building and  armed violence prevention in Africa

Photo © United Nations Development Programme/Flickr

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP), in collaboration with the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons will host the regional seminar “Enhancing parliamentary engagement and action for more peaceful and sustainably developed societies - implementation of 2030 Agenda, the Arms Trade Treaty and the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UN PoA)" on October 3-4, 2018 at the PAP Headquarters in Midrand, Johannesburg. The workshop will take place on the margins of the 3rd Ordinary Session of the fifth Parliament of the PAP.

Members of Parliament from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Tanzania, Palestine, Uganda and Zimbabwe will join members of the PAP, representatives of the diplomatic community and civil society for this two-day seminar.

PAP President, Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang says a solution to the problematic issue of illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of SALW that is destabilising the African continent relies on the capacity to implement key resolutions, including the ratification of the Malabo Protocol by member states: “We welcome the African Union (AU)’s theme for the year 2020 which will be “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive conditions for Africa’s Development” as it helps assess the status of our objective to silence the guns in Africa by 2020, as envisaged in the Agenda 2063 First Ten Year Implementation Plan.”

The President says PAP stands ready to play its role which consists of harmonising and coordinating national and regional efforts and legislations for silencing the guns on the continent, however, this role would be fulfilled more effectively if the institution is empowered with a legislative mandate in order to facilitate and provide a platform for continuous parliamentary action and engagement on the risks posed by SALW.

He adds: “I wish to call on our national and regional Parliaments to facilitate and oversee the implementation of regional and international instruments on SALW, a sine qua non condition for achieving sustainable peace, security and development for all of our people.”

Ms. Karin Olofsson, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons pinpoints: “Effective steps to tackle the uncontrolled proliferation of SALW are crucial to sustainable development and to prevent armed violence, hence the need to empower law-makers to reinforce their legislative, oversight and awareness-raising functions. Parliamentarians play a vital role in building peace and in armed violence prevention in order to silence the guns by 2020 in Africa.”

Through policy dialogue and debate, the seminar seeks to address the international instruments that guide and regulate conventional arms control, through increased parliamentary engagement and action in international processes. It aims to increase parliamentary commitment, understanding and actions on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the United Nations Programme to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UN PoA) and 2030 Agenda, more concretely Sustainable Development Goal 16, Target 4 (SDG 16.4), aimed to significantly reduce illicit arms flows.

 

Specific focus is on the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS) and the Youth, Peace and Security agenda (YPS) including promoting the effective implementation of Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs) on WPS (UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions) and YPS (UNSCR 2250).