From 24 to 26 April 2019, in Yaoundé, Republic of Cameroon, the United Nations Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) organized a sub-regional workshop on technical capacity-building for stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Kinshasa Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons. The workshop is an integral part of the project "Supporting African States Towards the Vision of ‘Silencing The Guns in Africa by 2020’: Capacity Building for Central African States", jointly implemented by UNREC, the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
The purpose of the workshop was to take stock of the implementation of the "Central African Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunitions and all Parts and Components that can be used to their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly", which entered into force two years ago, together with other relevant instruments for the control of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and to make recommendations in order to foster the implementation of the Convention.
The opening ceremony was attended by the three implementing entities, as well as delegations from ECCAS Member States, Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the Regional Center for Small Arms (RECSA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), non-governmental organizations and the media. Diplomats from Canada, China, France, Germany and delegates from the International Red Cross also attended the ceremony.
During the workshop, 40 participants from ECCAS Member States attended sessions on the state of implementation of global and subregional arms control instruments - the United Nations Program of Action (UNPoA), the "Silencing The Guns in Africa by 2020" initiative, the Kinshasa Convention, the Nairobi Protocol and the ECOWAS Convention on SALW -, data collection and progress indicators, arms database software, measurability and national reporting, the role of the ECCAS Secretariat and National Commissions in the implementation of the Convention.
Member States presented the state of implementation of the Convention in their respective countries. Participants also worked in two groups, one on the preparation of national reports under the UNPoA and the other on SALW data collection. The working sessions ended with a plenary session devoted to draft a set of recommendations for the Kinshasa Convention Signatory States and/or Parties as well as for the ECCAS Secretariat.
As a prelude to the workshop, the UNREC team took part in another national workshop organized by the Cameroon Youth and Students Forum for Peace (CAMYOSFOP) on 22-23 April. The national workshop brought together participants from relevant Ministries, the National Assembly and defense and security sector, as well as experts in SALW and Representatives from Cameroonian civil society active in the field of arms control, in order to provide them with assistance in setting up the Cameroon National Commission on SALW and adopting a national SALW Action Plan. A presentation of UNREC mandate was given during the national workshop.