Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
UNODA / UNREC. 2010 ‘Kinshasa Convention: Central Africa Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition, Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly.’ United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC). Kinshasa: United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC). 22 November
Kinshasa Convention: Central Africa Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition, Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly.
Process of drafting a Convention for Central Africa - 14 May 2003 to 30 April 2010
The Member States of the Committee adopted, in 2003, in Brazzaville, the programme of priority activities for the implementation in Central Africa of the Programme of Action on Small Arms.
The Member States of the Committee decided to move to the next step by developing a legal instrument and adopted, at their 25th meeting in May 2007, "the Sao Tome Initiative." This initiative provided for the drafting and adoption of a legal instrument or convention for the control of small arms in Central Africa. Due to its technical expertise and mandate, UNREC was mandated by Member States with the responsibility for drafting this convention and its plan of action.
States conclude negotiations on the Kinshasa Convention on 30 April 2010
UNREC drafted a convention for the control of small arms and light weapons in Central Africa, taking into account international and regional legal instruments and the recommendations of independent international and African experts. The United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) mandated UNREC to draft this legal instrument. Eleven States of the sub-region are members of this Committee: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (RDC), Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe.
Main provisions of the Kinshasa Convention
The specificity of the Convention is to authorize transfers between States while subjecting them to a strict control exercised by the relevant national authorities. The possession of light weapons is prohibited to civilians, but the possession of small arms is subject to an authorization (licence) delivered by the authorities. The manufacture of small arms and light weapons is authorized, but subject to control. Arms have to be marked. Brokering activities and brokers are regulated at the national level.
A tracing mechanism is planned and States have to limit the number of entry points of weapons on their national territory. To build confidence and enhance the control of weapons, national databases must be established and allow for information exchange. A sub-regional database is also planned. States have to review, update and harmonize their legislations. The Member States of the Committee requested the UN Secretary-General to agree to be the depository of the Convention, whereas the Secretary-General of ECCAS is responsible for its implementation.
Signature, ratification, entry into force and implementation
The Kinshasa Convention will be signed during the 31th meeting of the Committee (November 2010, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea). UNREC, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the United Nations Office for Legal Affairs will support States in the adoption, signature and ratification processes.