Controlling SALW and Preventing Armed Violence at its Roots: Insights from West Africa

Hybrid event
21 June 2024
Controlling SALW and Preventing Armed Violence at its Roots: Insights from West Africa

The UN Secretary-General’s “New Agenda for Peace” calls for stronger preventive approaches to armed conflict and violence. Armed conflicts have evolved and multiplied, often fueled by small arms and light weapons (SALW) and the spread of violent extremism. The Programme of Action on SALW (PoA) is a key global framework for countering the illicit proliferation of these weapons and reducing armed violence. Recent PoA meetings have considered measures to address the supply of SALW to unauthorized end users. Experience shows that such measures are insufficient to prevent armed violence. 

Against this backdrop, UNIDIR, UNREC, and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland co-convened a West African Regional Seminar in 2023 on the interconnexion between preventing violent extremism (PVE), and weapons and ammunition management. Its conclusion was clear: There is an urgent need to put prevention front and center to effectively tackle both the supply of and demand for SALW. Such an approach helps address the drivers of violence and violent extremism, and durably prevent armed violence. 

This side-event at the PoA’s Fourth Review Conference will draw on recommendations from the 2023 West African Regional Seminar to highlight the benefits, potentially relevant for other regions, of focusing on prevention and demand drivers in a holistic approach to SALW control. 

This side-event will be the launch of the summary report of the West African Regional Seminar 2023 on the prevention of violent extremism and the management of conventional weapons. 

Where & When

21 June 2024, 8h30 to 9h30 EST, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York, 633 Third Avenue, 29th Floor, and online.

*A light breakfast will be served at the event. Interested participants not present in New York are invited to attend on the Zoom platform (see instructions below). 


The co-organizers encourage the participation of representatives and experts of States, the United Nations, international and regional organizations and NGOs, specialized or interested in issues related to SALW and PVE. Representatives from West Africa are particularly invited. Participants in capitals are also invited. 


 This event will be held in English without interpretation. 


For in-person participation, please register here by 19 June. Confirmation is on a first come, first served basis. For any questions, please contact Matilde Vecchioni ( 

For interested participants not present in New York and that are attending online, please register to the Zoom platform here.

In partnership with: