Strengthening Weapons and Ammunition Management in Africa

United Nations General Assembly 78th First Committee Side Event
19 October 2023
Strengthening Weapons and Ammunition Management in Africa

The illicit proliferation and misuse of conventional weapons and ammunition contributes to insecurity, armed conflict and violence, and impedes sustainable development in Africa. The Secretary-General’s Policy Brief on A New Agenda for Peace recognizes the importance of addressing the threat posed by conventional weapons and ammunition in order to reduce armed conflict, violence, terrorism and crime. Effective weapons and ammunition management (WAM) helps to prevent the trafficking and diversion of conventional weapons and ammunition, prevents and mitigates the risk of unplanned explosions of ammunition, and addresses the misuse of such materiel. WAM consists of the oversight, accountability and governance of conventional weapons and ammunition throughout their life- cycle, from production through to the use of ammunition or destruction of surplus, obsolete, or unsafe materiel.  

This side event during the 78th session of the United National General Assembly provides an opportunity to take stock of regional and national efforts to strengthen WAM policy and practice in Africa. Panellists will consider recent developments in multilateral and regional instruments and processes to tackle the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and ensure the safety and security of conventional ammunition. The discussion will also highlight challenges and examples of progress across Africa for preventing diversion and misuse of conventional arms and ammunition and unplanned explosions at ammunition sites.

This side event will also be used to launch UNIDIR’s Weapons and Ammunition Management in Africa Insight: 2023 Update.


Moderator: Ivor Fung, Chief of the Conventional Arms Branch, UNODA

Opening remarks: Ambassador Lauri Voionmaa, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, New York


  • Dr. Paul Holtom, Head of the Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme, UNIDIR
  • Nora Allgaier, Political Affairs Officer, Conventional Arms Branch, UNODA
  • Mr. Peter Otim, Expert, African Union (TBC)
  • Linda Kesse Antwi, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations

Followed by Q&A.

Closing remarks: Robin Geiss, Director, UNIDIR


Thursday 19 October, 13.15 – 14.45 EDT

In-person meeting only in Conference Room 9 at UN HQ, New York


Representatives from permanent missions in New York and Geneva, national experts, representatives of United Nations entities, international and regional organizations and non-governmental organizations interested in this issue.

Featured image: © 2023, Nikhil Acharya