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February 7, 2018

CONNECTING THE DOTS – TIME TO SILENCE THE GUNS IN AFRICA

The Forum’s initiative "Connecting The Dots" continues 2018 with a regional seminar in South Africa in collaboration with the Pan-African Parliament. Supported by United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR), the Forum aims to reinforce parliamentary action to prevent and reduce illicit flows of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Identifying synergies – i e connecting the dots- between international frameworks relevant for armed violence prevention and reduction, i e the United Nations Program of Action (UN PoA), the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the Agenda 2030, contributes to the implementation.

The purpose of the seminar aligns with African Union flagship project Silencing The Guns for realising a conflict-free Africa and is a preparatory step for the Third Revision Conference on the UN PoA, in June in New York. Ratification of the ATT and delivery of Annual National Reports to the UN PoA are vital steps. Synergies can form on a national and regional level underpinning the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, SDG 16.4. for a more sustainable and peaceful development.

In Africa, many countries are still affected by proxy wars, inter-communal strife and prolonged war. Highlighting prevention and reduction of armed violence is therefore crucial. This issue is also topical for South Africa, whose Embassy representative to Sweden the Forum recently had the honor of meeting to exchange information and ideas on the promotion of peace and security.

South Africa, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Zimbabwe are the focus countries for the seminar in the Pan-African parliament on March 2-3 2018. According to the Arms Trade Treaty Secretariat, the status as of January 2018 demonstrates that in the Sub-Saharan African region, 22 out of 48 countries have ratified the ATT, South Africa being one of them. The issue of the uncontrolled proliferation of SALW is of highest importance to address as to create a more peaceful development in the region. 

Persons in the photo: Chargé d’Affaires of South African Embassy, Mr. Duncan Sebefelo and Parliamentary Forum, Secretary General Ms. Karin Olofsson, Programme Officer Mr. Fausto Brindis and Intern Ms. Mirjam Chahed

 
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