NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) – A new Convention purported to fight against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in small arms and light weapons in Central Africa entered into force on March 8, according to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) / Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA).
Known as the Central African Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and all Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly (Kinshasa Convention), it complements and reinforces the existing regional and global framework comprising, among others, the Arms Trade Treaty, the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), and its Firearms Protocol.
The Central African Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and all Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly (Kinshasa Convention) entered into force on March 8, according to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) / Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA).
A subregional legal instrument focused on reducing the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, the Convention’s entry into force is a testament to the collective commitment of 11 Central African States to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and reduce the human suffering they cause in the subregion and Africa as a whole. The Secretary-General is the depository of this Convention.
Adopted on 30 April 2010 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Convention contributes to the African Union’s Agenda 2063: Silencing the Guns by 2020, and creates a framework for Africa to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Kinshasa Convention, alongside such other African subregional small-arms instruments as the Nairobi Protocol, the Southern African Development Community and Economic Community of West African States Conventions, creates a mutually reinforcing disarmament and arms control network across the continent.
Through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, the Office for Disarmament Affairs, provided legal, policy and technical assistance to Member States of the Central Africa subregion during the drafting of the Convention.
The United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) of the Department of Political Affairs acts as the Secretariat of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee for Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC), which negotiated the terms of the Convention.
The Committee was instrumental in sustaining the attention of Member States on the need to expedite ratification of the Kinshasa Convention, thus ensuring its entry into force.
The Office for Disarmament Affairs and the Department of Political Affairs are committed to continuing their assistance to Central African States in their efforts to combat the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons, and to contributing to peace and security on the continent. [IDN-InDepthNews – 13 March 2017]
Photo: The AK-47, the most ubiquitous automatic weapon in the world. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
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