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SADC / UNODA. 2001 ‘Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations. New York, NY: Southern African Development Community Secretariat / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. 1 August

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SADC Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials.

Originally, the small arms issue was viewed as one of foreign policy but more recently it has come to be seen as a matter of crime prevention and illicit trafficking.

One of the first moves the SADC made with regard to small arms was to approve the NGO-developed Action Programme on Light Weapons and Illicit Arms Trafficking, produced in May 1998. The SADC then entrusted the Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO - an independent organization formed in 1994) with the task of coordinating the SADC Policy on Small Arms and Cross Border Crime Prevention

A working group comprised of representatives from Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the SADC Secretariat was appointed to develop the SADC Policy on Small Arms - specifically to develop a regional instrument to provide a legal framework for SADC cooperation on the issue.

On the 9th March 2001 the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit signed the SADC Declaration Concerning Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials which laid the ground for the adoption of the legally binding SADC Protocol on Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials in August 2001. The objectives of the protocol are to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacturing of firearms, ammunition and other related materials, regulate the import and export of legal small arms and harmonise national legislation.

The SADC remains committed to the UN Programme of Action and has appointed at contact person at the SADC Secretariat for all matters relating to its implementation. The Public Security Sub-Committee, part of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Operation coordinates illicit trade matters with Customs, Police, Immigration and other agencies. Furthermore, a Technical Committee on Small Arms was established to coordinate communication between Member States and subregional bodies and provide a place for Member States to share information on best practices and agree mutual assistance. The SADC has worked with civil society organizations, most notably SaferAfrica and the Institute of Security Studies, to further the implementation of the PoA and to carry out policy development and research.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) originated in 1980, taking its present constitution in 1992, and now has fourteen Member States (Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe)…

ID: Q3217

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