Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1105th meeting held on 15 September 2022 on the commemoration of the 2022 Africa Amnesty Month (AAM) held from 4 to 7 September 2022, in Lomé, Togo:

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling Assembly Decision [Ext/Assembly/AU/Dec.1(XIV)] adopted during the 14th Extra-Ordinary Session on Silencing the Guns held on 6 December 2020, in Johannesburg, South Africa, which extended the implementation of the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa for a period of ten (10) years (2021-2030) and accordingly, extended the commemoration and conduct of the Africa Amnesty Month during September of each year for a period of ten (10) years (2021-2030) within the context of Agenda 2063; also recalling previous decisions and pronouncements on this central theme and its related activities;

Taking note of the opening remarks by H.E Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Togolese Abroad of the Togolese Republic; H.E. Ambassador Amma Adomaa Twum-Amoah, the Chairperson of the PSC for September 2022 and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ghana and the statement by H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, on the occasion of commemorating Africa Amnesty Month in Lomé, Togo;

Also taking note of the presentations made by Mr. Adedeji EBO, Chief Conventional Arms branch at United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and incoming Deputy to the UN High Representative for Disarmament UN Deputy United Nations High Representative; Lt. Gen. Badreldin Elamin Abdelgadir, the Executive Secretary of RECSA; and Mr. Mazah Paka the representative of the Togolese Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Commission, as well as the briefing made by the President of the Togolese Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Commission;

Reiterating AU’s commitment towards implementing the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by 2030 in order not to bequeath future generations with a conflict-ridden Continent and, importantly, to realize the Aspirations enshrined in Agenda 2063.

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

1. Adopts the Report of the PSC Field Mission to Lomé, Republic of Togo, to commemorate the 2022 Africa Amnesty Month, from 4 to 7 September 2022; Expresses deep concern over the continued proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) in the communities that leads to an increase in criminal activities, terrorism and violent extremism; while noting with satisfaction the progress made in the collection of illicit weapons since the beginning of this initiative of commemorating the Africa Amnesty Month in 2017;

2. Expresses concern over the recurring armed conflicts and other forms of insecurity, which are an obstacle to the realization of Africa’s aspirations set out in Agenda 2063; in this regard, reiterates its call for naming and shaming of peace spoilers in line with the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by 2030;

3. Urges Member Statesto ensure the safe destruction of all collected illegal weapons in line with the national, continental and international instruments, as well as to report on the programmes and activities undertaken during the AAM to the AU Commission; stresses the need for Member States to mark, keep records and trace weapons in order to effectively monitor the trends of illicit weapon movements in the Continent;

4. In this regard, directsthe AU Commission to develop a reporting and monitoring template for Member States to provide information on AAM activities and to continue providing technical support to Member States on the management of stockpiles and destruction of surrendered SALW;

5. Underscores the critical role of the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) in fighting the proliferation of illicit weapons in their regions and emphasizes the need to harmonize and coordinate the strategies and actions of the AU Commission, the RECs/RMs, the UN and the international community to ensure the control of the illicit circulation of weapons on the continent;

6. Requests the AU Commission, in close coordination with Member States and RECs/RMs, to conduct surveys on the collection of illicit weapons at five-year intervals in order to provide reliable data on the progress made by the Member States;

7. Encourages Member States that have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the relevant continental and international instruments to regulate the international trade in weapons, as well as to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty in order to minimize arms transfers to unauthorized end-users;

8. Directs the AU Commission to take steps, including convening a meeting of experts from Member States, to elaborate a common African position which will provide guidance to AU Member States during the 4th Review Conference of the Programme of Action on Small Arms; requests the AU Commission to explore the possibility of developing legally binding instruments on the management of small arms and light weapons and to update the Council on the same;

9. Commends the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs and other partners for their support in the implementation of the AAM activities in AU Member States during the month of September 2022; calls for more support and to ensure that this support is well coordinated and benefits all African countries;

10. Expresses deep appreciation to the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for their efforts towards advocating the national and continental agenda in mobilizing societies to silence the guns and to promote peace, security and development; In this regard, highlights the need for the enhancement of the local capacity of citizens in the area of sensitization and arms control, including through the establishment of a forum for knowledge and experience sharing to allow Member States, CSOs and partners to exchange views, identify gaps and learn from best practices on control of SALW;

11. Acknowledges that the commemoration of the AAM on the ground creates more awareness to the people on the implementation of the AAM with the support of their respective national authorities; in this context, decides to continue launching AAM on the ground with the participation of the youth and women, as well as the media and faithbased organizations;

12. Emphasizes the need to link the Silencing the Guns in Africa goal with the implementation of the Malabo Declaration on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government [Ext/Assembly/AU/Decl.(XVI)], which instituted 31 January of each year as “Africa Day of Peace and Reconciliation’’;

13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by PSC Secretariat
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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