OAU Decision on Small Arms

Tasneem Jamal News

Statement from the Organization of African Unity.

Thirty-fifth Ordinary Session of OAU/Third Ordinary Session of AEC, 12-14July, 1999, Algiers, Algeria

AHG/Draft/Dec.1-8 (XXXV) Rev.

AHG/Draft/OAU/AEC/Dec.1 (III) Rev.

DRAFT DECISIONS OF THE ASSEMBLY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT

AHG/Draft/Dec.6 (LXX) Draft Decision on the Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Illicit Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons – (Doc. CM/2097 (LXX) Add.2))

The Assembly:

1. TAKES NOTE of the Report;

2. ADOPTS the proposals contained therein;

3. HAILS the Declaration on the moratorium on the import, export and manufacture of light weapons adopted in Abuja in October 1998 by the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);

4. WELCOMES the appeal contained in the said Declaration CALLING ON the OAU to support implementation of the moratorium and ENCOURAGE similar initiatives in other regions of the continent;

5. WELCOMES the initiatives being undertaken by Member States and regional organisations concerning the question of small arms, in particular, the ECOWAS moratorium on small arms, the destruction of surplus and obsolete small arms in South Africa and the destruction of illicit weapons in Mozambique;

6. FURTHER WELCOMES the work of the United Nations, through its Group of Experts on Small Arms and the draft Protocol on the Illicit Manufacturing, circulation and proliferation of as well as illicit trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and other related materials, supplementary to the Convention against Transnational Organised Crime; the European Union, through its Joint Action on Small Arms; and the Organisation of American States, through its Convention against the illicit manufacturing, trafficking, circulation and proliferation of firearms, ammunition, explosives and other related Materials;

7. APPEALS to the International Community to render to the affected African countries all necessary assistance to enable them to implement programmes to effectively deal with the problems associated with the proliferation of small arms and light weapons;

8. REITERATES the urgency and the need for inter-African co-operation in addressing the problems associated with the illicit use, transfer and manufacture of small arms and light weapons, and EMPHASISES the primary role the OAU can play in coordinating actions in those affected areas;

9. URGES the Secretary-General to further seek the views of Member States on the illicit trafficking, circulation and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, in particular, to seek their views on actions to be undertaken;

10. CALLS for a coordinated African approach to the problems posed by the illicit trafficking, circulation and proliferation of small arms, under the OAU, taking into account the regional experiences and activities in this matter;

11. STRESSES the impact of the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of light weapons on the increased

involvement of children as soldiers and the psycho-social trauma thereof and the need to comply with the African

Charter for the Rights and Welfare of Children and the Convention on the Rights of the Child;

12. FURTHER APPEALS to all Member States and to the International Community to assist in the psycho-social rehabilitation of children who have been affected the trafficking, circulation and the proliferation of light weapons;

13. REQUESTS the OAU Secretariat to organize, to that effect a continental experts preparatory conference on this matter, prior to the International Conference scheduled for the year 2001 and to seek the support of the relevant UN agencies and other actors concerned, so as to evolve an African common approach;

14. FURTHER REQUESTS the Secretary-General to report to the next Session of Council of Ministers.

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