From 25 to 27 September 2019, the United Nations Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) organized a Sub-Regional Legal Assistance Workshop for States Parties to the Kinshasa Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) at the Sipopo International Conference Center in Malabo (Republic of Equatorial Guinea). The workshop was held in collaboration with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and with the political support of the African Union.
The event brought together a total of 46 participants from 11 ECCAS Member States as well as academic experts and practitioners and focused not only on the legal obligations of States Parties to the Kinshasa Convention on SALW, but also on best practices to update national arms control legal texts.
The workshop is an integral part of the project “Supporting African States towards the Vision of ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020’: Capacity Building for Central African States.” It aimed to strengthen the legal capacity of States in the implementation of the Central African Convention for the Control of SALW, their Ammunition and all Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly.
The work was opened by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Her Excellency Maria Angeles Miaga. Also in attendance were Mr Guy-Pierre Garcia, Deputy Secretary General, Head of Department of Human Integration, Peace, Security and Stability of the ECCAS, Mrs. Marilyn Tayim Ngum Fru, Senior Policy Advisor, Deputy Head of Political Affairs of UNOCA, Mr. Mady Mbaye, Resident Coordinator a.i. of the United Nations System in Equatorial Guinea and Mr. Anselme Nahmtante Yabouri, Director of UNREC and Leonardo Lara, from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
During the workshop, experts presented the Kinshasa Convention on Small Arms and related legal obligations. They also presented efforts by various multilateral organizations such as ECCAS to assist Member States to ratify the convention and implement its provisions, the international standards on the control of small arms, in accordance with the Modular Small-arms-control Implementation Compendium (MOSAIC).
The workshop was also an opportunity to share experiences and best practices, which included the experience of Burundi, Sierra Leone, Mali and Burkina in developing and implementing laws on small arms and light weapons control. Each of the 11 ECCAS Member State delegations presented the state of play and challenges as they relate to the implementation of the Kinshasa Convention in their respective countries. At the end of the workshop, a record of conclusions and recommendations towards ECCAS Member States, ECCAS Secretariat and the United Nations was prepared and adopted.