HL Deb 17 July 2003 vol 651 cc150-1WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are helping the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) states and governments in the Great Lakes region of Africa to develop effective policies and co-operative action to control and reduce the amounts of small arms and ammunition in private hands. [HL3268]

The Secretary of State for International Development (Baroness Amos)

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) currently has no mandate to work on small arms control and reduction measures in the Great Lakes region, though there have been discussions to address this. MID has no institutional arrangements with IGAD on such work.

Through the Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP), DfID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence contribute?460,000 to the Nairobi secretariat to assist states in the Horn and Great Lakes regions to implement the commitments they made on signing the Nairobi Declaration on small arms in March 2001. The secretariat provides training and advice to national focal points, being set up in signatory countries in the Great Lakes region, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, to prevent the proliferation of weapons and ammunition. Other countries receiving support from the secretariat are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, and Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya in east Africa. Training has recently been provided to law enforcement officers on cross-border controls and management. Through the Nairobi secretariat. the GCPP supported participation by the national focal point co-ordinators at the United Nations biennial meeting of states on small arms and light weapons, held in New York from 7–11 July 2003.

The three departments have also provided support (£2.3 million) to the Governments of Uganda. Kenya and Tanzania for the development of five-year national action plans on small arms and light weapons. This support is provided in conjunction with two non-governmental organisations, Saferworld and SaferAfrica.

Within a £7.5 million contribution to UNDP's global small arms reduction programme, the GCPP finances a project in the Great Lakes, which seeks to implement a broad small arms strategy for the region. This includes supporting the Nairobi Declaration and the peace process for the DRC. These initiatives are being closely co-ordinated with efforts to support broader peace building and reform of the security sectors.

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