From 26-30 September 2011, the African Union met in Togo to discuss small arms control through the African Union Strategy on the Control of Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons and to develop an African Common Position on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). IANSA women formed part of the IANSA team of 13 members from Burkina Faso, Chad, DR Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Uganda and Zambia. They advocated for the inclusion of gender perspectives and the connection to gender based violence against women with measures on small arms control.

These African Union agreements are important because they represent consensus from the majority of countries of the African continent, and will form part of discussions and negotiations at forthcoming events on the UN Programme of Action on small arms, and the Arms Trade Treaty.

IANSA women lobbied hard and we can now celebrate two successes that support our work through the inclusion of the following text in each document:

African Union Strategy on the Control of Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons

3.3 Gender dimension: To promote and enhance the participation of all gender groupings especially women in the design and implementation of initiatives to fight proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons at all levels.

Draft African Union Common Position on an Arms Trade Treaty

Parameters and Criteria

34. Conventional arms transfers shall not be authorized if they violate the objectives of an Arms Trade Treaty, as expressed in Article 25of this common position, and will be assessed using the following parameters:

b) risk for the transfer to adversely impact on national, regional and international stability, peace and security and to provoke or fuel armed and sexual violence against women and children, and armed conflict;

35. In applying these criteria, the following shall be considered:

xi. whether the transfer would exacerbate gender based violence in violation of UN resolutions 1325, 1820, 1889.

Policy Papers
African Union Strategy on the Control of Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (43833 bytes)
African Common Position on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) (155208 bytes)