NISAT - Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers
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The Making of a Moratorium on Light Weapons

 

This publication documents the making of the Moratorium on the Importation, Exportation and Manufacture of Light Weapons, effective in 16 West African States since 1 November 1998.

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Please contact NUPI for the paper original of this report. Copies of this publication are not to be made in any way, electronically, on paper or otherwise, without the prior and explicit consent of the publishers.

 

Summary

The proliferation and abusive use of the over 500 million small arms and light weapons in circulation in the world caused millions of deaths in the last decade alone. These weapons include assault rifles, light and heavy machine-guns, rocket-propelled grenades, individually portable mortars and missiles, and anti-personnel landmines. Readily available, affordable, easy to main- tain, conceal, smuggle and use, light weapons have prompted ordinary citizens and self-styled freedom fighters in Africa to try to solve their problems and achieve their goals by violent means.

This publication documents the making of the Moratorium on the Importation, Exportation and Manu- facture of Light Weapons, effective in 16 West African States since 1 November 1998. It traces the historic initiative of Mali’s President Alpha Oumar Konare; other key players include the UN Advisory Mission to the Sahara–Sahel region, UNDP, UNIDIR, ECOWAS, NISAT, the Wassenaar Arrangement, media, NGOs and civil society organisations. While none of the measures traditionally associated with arms control can be expected to work effectively in dealing with small arms, the Moratorium bears testimony to the political will under way in West Africa to stem and, hopefully, with time, reverse the destabilising accumulation and abusive use of light weapons.


Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Acronyms
Publication Outline


PART ONE

General Introduction
Preface
Ivor Richard Fung and Lansana Kouyaté
Executive Summary
Introduction Boh Herbert


PART TWO: The Geopolitical and Security Situation of West Africa

Instability and Insecurity in West Africa: State of the Art
Boh Herbert


PART THREE: The Moratorium Declaration Text and the Code of Conduct for the Implementation of the Moratorium

Declaration of a Moratorium on Importation, Exportation and Manufacture of Light Weapons in West Africa

The Code of Conduct for the Implementation of the Moratorium
Institutional Arrangements, Administrative Mechanisms, Operational Aspects, Promotion and Expansion


PART FOUR: Plan of action for the Implementation of PCASED, Practical Organisation and Steps Taken

Plan of Action
Objectives and Priority Areas of PCASED, Priority Areas

Practical Organisation and Steps Taken to Launch the Programme
Origins of PCASED, Mandate and Activities of PCASED, Structure of PCASED, Supplies and Equipment, Duration and Location of PCASED, Reinforcing the Operational Capacity of PCASED: The Advisory Group, Processes and Methodology of Installations, Languages of PCASED

PART FIVE: Progress in the Implementation of PCASED and Evalution of the Implementation of the Moratorium

PCASED Evaluation
Enhancing a Culture of Peace, Establishment of a Regional Arms Register and Database, Collection and Disposal of Surplus and Unauthorised Weapons, Establishing National Commissions, Facilitating Dialogue with Producers/Suppliers, Review and Harmonisation of National Legislation and Administrative Procedures, Mobilising Resources for PCASED Objectives and Activities, Enlarging Membership of the Moratorium, Communication to Back Efforts to Enlarge Membership of the Moratorium, Working with Civil Society to Expand Support for the Moratorium, Strengthening Institutional Capacities to Implement the Moratorium, Evaluating the Implementation of the Moratorium


PART SIX: Other related documents and information
Annexure 1:
Landmarks in Disarmament Involving Africa
Annexure 2:
Declaration by ECOWAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs on Child Soldiers
Annexure 3:
Final Report of the Meeting of ECOWAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the Modalities for the Implementation of the Programme for Co-ordination and Assistance for Security and Development
Annexure 4:
The Oslo Platform for a Moratorium on Light Weapons in West Africa
Annexure 5:
Communiqué Issued by the Participants Attending the Ecumenical Consultation on Micro-disarmament in the Subregion of West Africa
Annexure 6:
Final Document: West African NGOs Consultation on Small Arms, Abuja, Nigeria, 29 30 October 1998
Annexure 7:
Message to the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS from the West African NGOs Consultation on Small Arms
Annexure 8:
A Call for Action: A Message to the Meeting of Foreign Ministers on the Occasion of the Launching of PCASED fromthe West African Civil Society Consultation
Succinct Bibliography