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pssm mali2On 8 and 9 August 2016 in partnership with the Malian National Commission for the Fight Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons CNLPAL) UNREC, jointly with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organised a legal drafting workshop to support Mali in its efforts to develop a new law for the control of small arms and light weapons.

Under the leadership of the president of the CNLPAL, General Coulibaly Kane, more than 20 international and local legal experts, legislators and practitioners in the security sector spent the two days reviewing the current legal framework and deliberating on the development of a comprehensive law aligned to Mali’s current national needs and compliant with its international obligations.

The workshop made a number of useful proposals that will be presented to Malian authorities for consideration.

Photos from the event

KAIPTC11On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2016, the Director of UNREC, Ms. Olatokunbo IGE, visited the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) to promote the role of women in disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control at a meeting of the KAIPTC Women Peace and Security Institute’s (WPSI) Communication Network.
The Communication Network, celebrating its first anniversary in March 2016, was established to explore ways of promoting women’s participation in security matters, particularly focusing on implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000). For UNREC, the meeting constituted a platform to introduce and remind network members of the global United Nations agenda on women and security which comprises not only UNSCR 1325, but also United Nations General Assembly Resolution 65/69 and subsequent resolutions on Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control as well as the Arms Trade Treaty. Ms.Ige emphasised that without effective arms control, for which women’s empowerment is crucial, concerned States will remain fragile and sustainable development cannot take place.
The meeting was an opportunity to reflect on three distinct roles of women, namely as agents of change to foster progress in disarmament and non-proliferation, victims of armed violence and conflict, as well as tools to perpetrate terrorist acts.

wp4The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) hosted experts from six countries of the Sahel to work on regional security and stability through preventing the diversion of, and illicit trafficking of government-held conventional arms and ammunition.
The lack of effective Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) measures in existing depots of conventional arms and ammunition in the Sahel constitutes a serious setback to peace and security in the region and beyond. Recently, government stockpiles in Libya and Mali were looted by armed non-state actors, including terrorist groups. In this regard, there is a high risk of similar occurrences in other Sahel countries where armed and terrorist groups operate and are involved in the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and their ammunition. It is therefore crucial to prevent government-held SALW and ammunition from falling into the wrong hands or getting diverted into the black market.

To this end and within the framework of the "PSSM Project in the Sahel", co-funded by the European Union, UNREC organised a Wilton Park Conference under the theme "Towards better Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) in the Sahel region", on 14 and 15 March 2016 in Lomé. The event gathered the National Focal Points and National Commissions on Small Arms and Light Weapons from six States of the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Chad), as well as experts from international organizations (African Union, ECOWAS, and the European Union), relevant UN agencies (UNODC, UNMAS, UNIDIR, UNOWA, etc.), specialized agencies such as INTERPOL, BICC, MAG, Conflict Armament Research (CAR), and the Sahel G5.

peacePeoples and the international community across the African continent, celebrated yesterday, 21st September 2016, the “International Day of Peace”, dedicatedby the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 55/282 as "a day of non-violence and cease-fire.” The declaration is an invitation addressing all countries and their people to cease hostilities on the one hand and to invest in education on peace, tolerance and non-violence on the other.

The theme of this year’s International day of Peace Day highlights the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – the SDGs – as Building Blocks for Peace. In this context, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Message underlined that “Conflict often starts when people compete over limited resources. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our blueprint to prevent such conflicts from arising by making sure no one is left behind.”

As part of the celebrations, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), in collaboration with the Government of Togo and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organised a panel conference on the theme: "Culture of Peace and Disarmament: Pledge to Sustainable Development in Africa".

The event constituted a platform for exchange and discussions between panelists and participants composed of government representatives, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of international organisations, administrative and political authorities, as well as civil society organisations and journalists.

When addressing acts of gender-based violence and violence against women, many of us do not necessarily think about the arms trade. Sadly, the arms trade often goes hand in hand with their diversion, their widespread and uncontrolled availability, and their illicit traffic. These negative consequences of the arms trade fuel and prolong conflicts, aggravate tensions between States and communities, facilitate the commission of crimes and acts of terrorism, and cause the displacement of people - conditions that constitute a nourishing ground for the commission of acts of gender-based violence and violence against women.

In acknowledging the gender dimension of the arms trade and with the aim of promoting responsible action by States in the international trade in conventional arms, Member States of the United Nations adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in April 2013. The ATT constitutes the first global, legally binding instrument to provide international standards for the international trade in conventional arms. In addition, the treaty is the first international disarmament instrument to contain specific obligations aiming at reducing the risks of gender-based violence and violence against women. Key provisions in that regard constitute Article 6 and 7, which provide specific transfer prohibitions and request all States Parties to assess the risk of the transferred arms, ammunition, parts and components being used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence and violence against women before issuing an export authorisation.