Armed Violence Reduction and Development Programming: The Canadian experience and status

Tasneem Jamal

Cristina M. Yeung

This paper was prepared for the Small Arms Working Group of Peacebuild.

After the Cold War, Canada recognized the negative impact of armed violence on sustainable development and took active steps to promote and develop a comprehensive approach to peacebuilding. This approach aimed, on the one hand, to ensure the sustainability of development programs which were threatened by gun violence and armed conflict and, on the other hand, to address the destabilizing proliferation and misuse of small arms through supportive development strategies.

In 2006, Canada became a signatory to the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development. This was a political commitment to formally integrate many of the peacebuilding and post-conflict activities it had long promoted. Unfortunately, the Canadian government’s recent silence in the area of armed violence reduction and development has caused some Canadian development and arms control advocates to perceive a discreet change in government policy.

This report highlights a key policy area for Canadian government attention during the United Nations Third Biennial Meeting of States to Consider Implementation of the PoA (Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons). It is part of a series of similar reports which were first presented in April 2008 at a meeting between the Small Arms Working Group (Peacebuild) and Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

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