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African Union / UNODA. 2005 ‘Windhoek Common Position.’ United Nations Programme of Action Implementation Support System: Regional Organisations. New York, NY: African Union / United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. 14 December

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Windhoek Common Position

In December 2005, the AU [African Union] convened a meeting of governmental experts from all member states, to adopt an African Common Position for the Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA) that was due to be held in June 2006.

This meeting adopted the Windhoek Common Position, which called on member states and the AU commission to take a number of steps to strengthen its efforts to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. Chief among these steps was a call for the Commission to "convene a technical and legal workshop with the aim of developing a legally binding instrument to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons". Therefore, unlike the Bamako Declaration, this Common Position contained provisions for follow-up.

The commission subsequently organised an informal meeting on 15 November 2006 to develop a roadmap for such an instrument, by which time the Executive Council of the AU had also endorsed the endeavour. Outside trade issues and the PoA process, the Conference welcomed other developments in the small arms arena, such as civilian possession of military-style weapons, the transfer of small arms and light weapons to non-State actors, the Transfer Control Initiative and the Arms Trade Treaty.

The African Union has also expressly linked small arms and light weapons and landmines, especially in the context of post-conflict resolution and development and to a wider notion of human security…

The African Union (AU) is an intergovernmental organization consisting of States from the African Continent. The AU was established on July 9, 2002, to replace the amalgamated African Economic Community (AEC) and the Organization of African Unity (OAU)…

ID: Q3216

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