The African Union and the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany co‑hosted a meeting in Berlin on 22 March 2017 to discuss donor coordination in the field of small arms control. The meeting was held as part of the ongoing AU‑Germany project on improved coordination of small arms control measures in the Sahel region.
The meeting was attended by representatives of donors from the G7 countries as well as Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, the European Union and NATO. Representatives of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Small Arms Survey (SAS) and the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) also took part.
Presentation of the AU Master Roadmap
The morning session gave the donor representatives the opportunity to exchange information on their current projects and priorities. The African Union presented its Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by the Year 2020. During the afternoon session, representatives of the African Union and the Federal Foreign Office suggested that this roadmap be used as a common framework for all activities relating to small arms in the Sahel region. The organisers of the meeting also recommended that donors work with the AU, the regional economic associations, regional bodies and regional organisations to draw up an action plan to translate the themes addressed in the AU’s roadmap into concrete activities. Any such action plan should be country‑specific and initially cover the 16 states included in the AU‑Germany project. In addition, an action plan would have the advantage of enabling donors to focus on activities in line with their priorities, and thus also of going some way to create a coordinated, common framework.
The participants in the coordination meeting agreed to these proposals and emphasised that the action plan needed to be based on joint analyses by donors and recipients. Finally, the participants agreed to feed the action plan for the AU Master Roadmap into the UN’s Programme of Action (PoA), on the grounds that it could serve as an example of a joint leadership role and as a contribution to the upcoming PoA review conference in 2018.
The meeting was held as part of the ongoing AU‑Germany project on enhanced coordination of small arms control measures in the Sahel region. This AU‑Germany project, which launched in May 2015, aims to coordinate the needs of the countries in the Sahel region more effectively with donor resources. It particularly focuses on physical security and stockpile management (PSSM).