05 July 2001

Fact Sheet: State Dept. Chronology on Regional Small Arms Activities

Africa, the Americas, Europe and Eurasia, Asia-Pacific

The U.S. government supports a range of activities that seek to curtail the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons (SA/LW). This State Department-produced chronology details regional activities in Africa, Central and South America, Europe and Eurasia, and the Asia-Pacific.

Following is the text of the fact sheet, which was issued July 5:

Fact Sheet
Department of State
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Washington, DC
July 5, 2001
Chronology of U.S. Regional Activities

Activities in Africa

  • November 1997, at a Bamako, Mali Conference, the U.S. assisted in the development of the text of the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) moratorium (on the import, export and manufacture of light weapons).

  • May 1999, the U.S. sponsored a study of African SA/LW laws and legislation dealing with export and border controls, through the Uganda-based United Nations Africa Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) and the Harare-based Southern African Regional Police Chief Co-operation Organization (SARPCCO).

  • July 2000, the U.S. agreed with Botswana to establish an International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) for Southern Africa.

  • May 2000, the U.S. as part of the U.S.-SADC (Southern African Development Community) Forum, proposed a Joint Declaration addressing adherence to UN sanctions, restraint in the sale of conventional arms, and destruction of excess weapons.

  • December 2000, the U.S. and SADC sign the Joint Declaration on Sanctions and Restraint in Sale and Transfers of Conventional Arms to Regions of Conflict in Africa.

Activities in Central and South America

  • April 1986, the U.S. joined other OAS (Organization of American States) countries in developing The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission or "CICAD Model Regulations."

  • November 1997, U.S. signed (jointly, with Mexico and 30 other OAS) the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials.

  • June 1998, the Convention was submitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.

Activities in Europe and Eurasia

  • July 1998, the U.S. attended the first international conference addressing SA/LW held in Oslo, and played an essential role in drafting the Final Communiqué: "Elements of a Common Understanding."

  • October 1998, the U.S participated in the Brussels Conference on Sustainable Development for Sustainable Disarmament and played an essential role in the development of the conference final document: "A Call for Action."

  • January 1999, the U.S. participated in the first session of the Ad Hoc Committee in Vienna to begin negotiations on the Firearms Protocol.

  • October 1999, the U.S. and Norway agreed to create a Joint Working Group to assist countries in managing stockpiles and destroying SA/LW.

  • December 1999, the U.S. signed with the EU (European Union) a Joint Statement of Common Principles and a 10-point Plan of Action.

  • November 2000, the U.S. joined consensus on the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Framework Document on SA/LW.

  • September 2000, the U.S., Norway, and Germany, signed a memorandum with Albania agreeing to destroy all collected and surplus Albanian SA/LW (over 130,000 units).

  • December 2000, the U.S. was active within the Wassenaar Arrangement in securing agreement to impose tighter controls on transfers of MANPADs (man-portable air defense systems).

Activities in the Asia-Pacific Region

  • October 2000, the U.S. raises for discussion the problems of SA/LW trafficking in East Asia and Pacific within the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum (ARF).

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