The conditions for the entry into force of the Kinshasa Convention were met following the deposit of the sixth instrument of ratification by Angola on 6 February 2017. In accordance with its article 35, paragraph 1, the Convention shall therefore enter into force on 8th March 2017 (“30 days after the date of deposit of the sixth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession”).
Adopted on 30 April 2010, six out of the eleven signatories namely Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo and Gabon are parties to the Kinshasa Convention
The Convention sets out specific obligations on a wide range of issues related to the control of SALW, their ammunition, parts and components, including: International transfers; Civilian possession; Manufacture, distribution and repair; Brokering; Marking and tracing; Registration collection and destruction; Management and Security of Stockpiles; Border control; Transparency and exchange of information.
Thus, the Kinshasa Convention will complement and reinforce other disarmament and arms control instruments and frameworks applicable to the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) countries, such as the Arms Trade Treaty, the Firearms Protocol, the United Nations Programme of Action, the International Tracing Instrument, the Bamako Declaration and the African Union Strategy on the Control of Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of SALW.
Effective implementation of the Kinshasa Convention will contribute to reducing the illicit trafficking and proliferation of arms in the region and beyond, thereby fostering the advancement of Goals 16.a and 16.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The latter calls for the reduction of illicit arms flows and the strengthening of relevant national institutions. At the regional level, the implementation of the Kinshasa Convention will also contribute to the African Union’s aspiration of ‘Silencing the Guns’ by the year 2020 as called for in Agenda 2063.
Mandated by UNSAC to elaborate the initial draft of the Convention, in 2014 UNREC also supported ECCAS countries in developing a draft harmonisation guide in preparation for the future implementation of the Kinshasa Convention, detailing concrete steps and actions which are required to meet the new responsibilities.
The entry into force of the Kinshasa Convention will greatly enhance the legal disarmament and arms control framework of the African continent, adding a fourth legally binding, sub-regional instrument to the existing ECOWAS Convention, Nairobi Protocol and SADC Protocol.
UNREC calls for further universalisation of the Kinshasa Convention, as well as for its swift and effective implementation, guided by the proposals contained in the relevant implementation plan.