AU Bamako Declaration, Bamako, Mali, 1 December 2000

Sectors : Small and Light Weapons
Organisation : AU
Date made: 
2000

Commitments in: Peace and security - Small and Light Weapons

“…2. WE THEREFORE AGREE that, in order to promote peace, security, stability and sustainable development on the continent, it is vital to address the problem of the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons in a comprehensive, integrated, sustainable and efficient manner through:
i) ensuring that the behaviour and conduct of Member States and suppliers are not only transparent but also go beyond narrow national interests;

ii) the promotion of measures aimed at restoring peace, security and confidence among and between Member States with a view to reducing the resort to arms;

iii) the promotion of structures and processes to strengthen democracy, the observance of human rights, the rule of law and good governance, as well as economic recovery and growth;

iv) the promotion of conflict prevention measures and the pursuit of negotiated solutions to conflicts;

v) the promotion of comprehensive solutions to the problem of the illicit proliferation circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons that:
- include both control and reduction, as well as supply and demand aspects;
- are based on the coordination and harmonization of the efforts of the Member States at regional, continental and international levels;
- involve civil society in support of the central role of governments, in this regard.

vi) the enhancement of the capacity of Member States to identify, seize and destroy illicit weapons and to put in place measures to control the circulation, possession, transfer and use of small arms and light weapons;

vii) the promotion of a culture of peace by encouraging education and public awareness programmes on the problems of the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons, involving all sectors of society;

viii) the institutionalisation of national and regional programmes for action aimed at preventing, controlling and eradicating the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons in Africa; and

ix) the respect for international humanitarian law.

3. WE RECOMMEND Member States should:
A. At the National Level

i) put in place, where they do not exist national coordination Agencies or bodies and the appropriate institutional infrastructure responsible for policy guidance/ research and monitoring on all aspects of small arms and light weapons proliferation, control, circulation, trafficking and reduction;

ii) enhance the capacity of national law enforcement and security Agencies and officials to deal with all aspects of the arms problem, including appropriate training on investigative procedures, border control and specialized actions, and upgrading of equipment and resources;

iii) adopt, as soon as possible, where they do not exist, the necessary legislative and other measures to establish as a criminal offence under national law, the illicit manufacturing of, trafficking in, and illegal possession and use of small arms and light weapons, ammunition and other related materials;

iv) develop and implement, where they do not exist, national programmes for:
- the responsible management of licit arms;
- the voluntary surrender of illicit small arms and light weapons;
- the identification and the destruction by competent national authorities and where necessary, of surplus, obsolete and seized stocks in possession of the state, with, as appropriate, international financial and technical support,
- the reintegration of demobilized youth and those who possess small arms and light weapons illegally.

v) develop and implement public awareness programmes on the problem of the proliferation and the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons;

vi) encourage the adoption of appropriate national legislation or regulations to prevent the breaching of international arms embargoes, as decided by the United Nations Security Council;

vii) take appropriate measure to control arms transfers by manufacturers, suppliers, traders, brokers, as well as shipping and transit agents, in a transparent fashion;

viii) encourage, where appropriate, the active involvement of civil society in the formulation and implementation of a national action plan to deal with the problem;

ix) enter into binding trilateral arrangements, on a voluntary basis with neighbouring countries, so as to put in place an effective common system of control, including the recording, licensing and collection of small arms and light weapons, within common frontier zones.

B. At the Regional Level
i) Put in place, where they do not exist, mechanisms to coordinate and harmonize efforts to address the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons;

ii) Encourage the codification and harmonization of legislation governing the manufacture, trading, brokering, possession and use of small arms and ammunition. Common standards could include, but not be limited to, marking, record-keeping and controls governing imports, exports and the licit trade;

iii) Strengthen regional and continental cooperation among police, customs and border control services to address the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons. These efforts should include, but not be limited to, training, the exchange of information to support common action to contain and reduce illicit arms and light weapons trafficking across borders, and the conclusion of the necessary Agreements in this regard;

iv) Ensure that the manufacturers and suppliers of illicit small arms and light weapons, who violate global or continental regulations on the issue, shall be sanctioned. Known brokers and States which act as suppliers of illicitly acquired arms and weapons to combatants in Member states, should equally be sanctioned by the International community…”

Scope: 
Africa