Wednesday, 29 November 2017

African Union–European Union Summit \ New impulses for regional arms control?

One of the priorities that was discussed at the African Union–European Union Summit on 29–30 November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, was peace and security. BICC works in partnership with African regional organizations mandated to work on arms control, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. In respect to the summit, the experts of BICC hope for new impulses for these efforts.

Picture from the documentary "Keep The Safety On"

The close cooperation with the Defense and Security Division of the African Union (AU) and Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA) are of particular importance”, Wolf-Christian Paes stresses. Collaborative activities include supporting regional and national PSSM capacity-building trainings, longer-term political and technical advice at the strategic level, implementation support for community-level initiatives such as arms marking, registration and tracing efforts as well as fundraising advice and visibility at international arms control fora through the production of documentaries, e. g. the video “Keep The Safety On: A film on regional approaches to stockpile security” (2017, available on YouTube).

Expectations are high for the AU–EU Summit in Abidjan as the continent has grown in importance as a result of both the refugee crisis and the threat posed by violent extremism. “The European Union has a moral obligation to assist Africa in dealing with conflict and crisis”, says Wolf-Christian Paes. However, providing military assistance is not sufficient and might even be harmful. “We need to help African states to address the root causes of conflict, such as poverty, bad governance and exclusion”.

Press release (pdf, in English)

Press release (pdf, in German)