oa Arms Control : Africa - ECOWAS small arms and light weapons convention : examining implementation

Volume 1, Issue 4
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Regional instruments on peace and security, like the issues they are meant to tackle, have to be intrinsically dynamic in nature in order to remain relevant. This is equally true with instruments meant to regulate the manufacture, trade and use of small arms and light weapons (SALW). This flexibility is paramount especially in situations where the proliferation of arms remains a major concern, like in Africa's zones of conflict. It was the continued proliferation of small arms, light weapons and ammunition in West Africa that necessitated the transformation of the Economic Community of West African (ECOWAS) Moratorium on the Importation, Exportation and Manufacture of Small Arms and Light Weapons (established in 1998), into a Convention (on small arms and light weapons and their ammunition and other related materials) in 2006. The transformation process was informed by the objectives of the 2001 United Nations Programme of Action (UNPoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.

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