Central Africa: Parliamentarians Reaffirm their Commitments to Arms Control and Women, Peace and Security

On the 08-09 April 2014 the Centre for Peace, Security and Armed Violence Prevention (CPS-AVIP) in partnership with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Secretariat have organised a forum to raise awareness and mobilise parliamentarians from Central African States in the fight against violence on women in armed conflict, particularly in connection with the anarchy on the circulation of small arms and light weapons (SAWL). The forum was held in N'Djamena, Republic of Chad.

This forum aimed to sensitise parliamentarians to become more involved in the implementation of relevant international instruments and in encouraging stakeholders to respect regional and international commitments to women, peace and security.

Parliamentarians of Central Africa have revisited the sub-regional and international commitments to women's peace and security during the forum. They have focused on various international and regional instruments including, the Geneva Declaration on Armed violence and Development; the Programme of Action of the United Nations to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects; the Central Africa Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, The Arms Trade Treaty, the International Instruments to enable states to identify fast and reliable tracing of small arms and light weapons; the Bamako Declaration on African Position on the proliferation, circulation and illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons and the UN Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2160 and 2122 related to women, peace and security.

The two days of work have resulted in the adoption of a Declaration by parliamentarians on a common position in favour of peace, security and combat violence against women. Parliamentarians had called for a strong and effective participation of women in meetings and conferences that deal with the protection of women, implementation of resolution 1325; Promotion of leadership and women participation in political life, integration, gender equality and women's empowerment in the full range of activities in their respective; and strengthening institutions for good governance which is an important factor for conflict prevention in the sub-region. Parliamentarians had called for more ratification of the Central Africa Convention on small arms and light weapons.

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