The Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, African Union Commission (AUC) organized the meeting of AU Member States Experts to develop a Common African Position on the fourth Review Conference of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPoA) from 28 to 30 November 2023, at the AU Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in preparation for the Fourth Review Conference of the UNPoA to be held in June 2024 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The Participants included experts on small arms and light weapons control from AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Mechanisms (RMs) and Intergovernmental Regional Bodies (RBs). In addition, the Chair of the Peace and Security Cluster of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) participated.

The opening remarks were delivered by Ambassador William Azumah Awinador-Kanyirige, on behalf of the Commissioner PAPS. Remarks were also delivered by Ms Irina Hoehn on behalf of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ethiopia and the AU.

Mr. Christopher Kayoshe, Ag. Head of SSR/DDR Division within the Directorate of Governance and Conflict Prevention briefed on steps taken thus far by the Commission, and emphasized that the Common Position, when adopted, would serve as a reference for AU Member States when articulating issues of concern to the Continent in the fight against illicit SALW during the Fourth Review Conference on the UNPoA and the International Tracing Instrument in a coherent manner.

The meeting noted that illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the hands of unauthorized groups or individuals pose a major threat to the sustainable peace, security and stability in the Member States, and the continent at large. It is in this context that the Member States adopted the “Bamako Declaration on an African Common Position on the Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of SALWs” in December 2000, in preparation for Africa’s participation at the UN process to negotiate the “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects”, which was subsequently adopted in July 2001.

During the three days, participants elaborated and adopted the draft Common African Position on the Fourth United Nations Conference to review the progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) in all its aspects”. The draft Common Position will be submitted to the AU Policy Organs for consideration.

For further information please contact: 

Mr Christopher Kayoshe, Ag. Head of the SSR/DDR Division, Governance and Conflict Prevention Directorate | Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security | African Union Commission | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | E-mail:

For media inquiries information please contact:

Mr. Abraham Kebede Gizaw, PAPS Digital Support Officer | Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security | African Union Commission | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | E-mail:

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Posted by Abraham Kebede

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