n Institute for Security Studies Papers - Controlling the transfer of arms : progress and challenges in the African context




The focus of the international arms control community on the need to put in place comprehensive mechanisms to control the import, export, transfer and transit of small arms and light weapons (SALW) has largely been located in the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UN PoA). After much discussion on the nature of small arms transfer controls, the principle of developing common global standards is now widespread. However, this commitment to global standards is best understood and practiced at the national, regional and sub-regional levels. While Africa has taken seriously its commitments to implementing the provisions of the UN PoA, global agreements have little chance of producing the desired impact unless action at the national level is strengthened and the capacity for implementation is enhanced.


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