Control of Illicit Arms Proliferation : Stakeholders Propose Gender-Inclusive Approach

Creating a gender representative coordination committee to ensure proper gender mainstreaming were amongst the recommendations of a three-day conclave that ended in Yaounde on June 3.

Government institutions and Civil Society Organisations who met in a national workshop on “Gender consideration in Cameroon’s arms control policies,” in Yaounde from May 31 to June 3, 2021 have come up with a series of propositions to strengthen policies, programmes and actions for the efficient control of small arms using a gender-based framework. 
The get-together was organised by the government of Cameroon in partnership with the European Union and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa. 
Integrating the gender dimension of arms control in all policies and school curriculum, and encouraging Cameroon to ensure the implementation of agenda 2250 on youths, peace and security for a better involvement and participation of youths in peace processes as well as taking into consideration the aspect of gender-based violence on men and boys and the manipulation of armed children were other recommendations. “There is need for the creation of a National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) control. The Commission should be inclusive of all strategic stakeholders and the promotion of women should be above 30 per cent,” reads one of the recommendations. 
In his explanation, the Director of the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, Anselme Nahmtante Yabouri, said the United Nations is supporting Cameroon as per international instruments that promote disarmament and gender equality. “We take into account gender mainstreaming while supporting member States to do arms control and disarmament. For instance, we have international instruments like the Arms Trade Treaty and the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons. We also have regional accords like the Kinshasa Convention. It is within that framework that the United Nations is supporting the government of Cameroon to promote gender equality in arms control,” he stated.  
Speaking on behalf of the civil society, the Executive Director of CAMYOSFOP and the focal point for Cameroon for International Action Network on Small Arms, Eugine Ngalim, said illegal arms ownership are a threat to peace and cause of several conflicts, reason efforts need to be redoubled to eradicate their circulation. 
 

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