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Old 12-01-2010, 02:48 AM   #1
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The working definition of SALW that is used is that formulated in the International Tracing Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons. Article 4 of the International Tracing Instrument, states that:
“’small arms and light weapons’ will mean any man-portable lethal weapon that expels or launches, is designed to expel or launch, or may be readily converted to expel or launch a shot, bullet or projectile by the action of an explosive, excluding antique small arms and light weapons or their replicas. Antique small arms and light weapons and their replicas will be defined in accordance with domestic law. In no case will antique small arms and light weapons include those manufactured after 1899:
(a) “Small arms” are, broadly speaking, weapons designed for individual use. They include, inter alia, revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, sub-machine guns, assault rifles and light machine guns;
(b) “Light weapons” are, broadly speaking, weapons designed for use by two or three persons serving as a crew, although some may be carried and used by a single person.”

There is no universally recognised definition of SALW. The UN Group of Governmental Experts that explored the issue of SALW in 1997 put forth a definition that included clubs, knives and machetes, though most of the subsequent regional and international instruments have narrowed the definitions used to focus exclusively on firearms. See, United Nations, ‘Report of the Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms’, United Nations General Assembly, A/52/298, 27. August 1997. Available
at: A/52/298

For more information see Small Arms Survey Yearbooks from 2001 to 2008 and Securing Development: UNDP’s support for addressing small arms issues (2005), available at: UNDP | 404 - Page not found

Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. Available at

TheUnited Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, was adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000. It has three additional protocols, one of which is the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition. It entered into force on 3 July 2005. It is available at

See for example the surveys of the UNDP South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearing House for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) available at: SEESAC - South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons

South African Police Service website accessed 8. April, 2008; See also
Kirsten, Adele (2007), A Nation without Guns? The Story of Gun Free South Africa, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Press.

Francis, Geoffrey (1995), ‘Illicit firearms in Canada: Sources, smuggling and trends’, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Gazette,Vol. 57, Issue 2, pp. 22–24

Botswana does not issue handgun licences to individuals; the only people who can possess and carry firearms are serving members of the police and defence force. Hunters are subject to strict control, with only 400 licenses issued annually, by lottery–200 for shotguns and 200 for rifles.

Weapons - Single market for goods - Enterprise and Industry

Bamako Declaration on: an African Common Position on the Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons. Available at: are/measures/reg.html

South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference and Oceania Customs Organization (2000), Towards a Common Approach to Weapons Control (‘Nadi Framework’), Nadi, 10 March. Available at:

Organization of American States (2003), Andean Plan to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, OAS Decision 552, 25. June 2003. Available at: Normativa Andina / Decisiones - Comunidad Andina / DECISION 552: Plan Andino para la Prevencin, Combate y Erradicacin del Trfico Ilcito de Armas Pequeas y Ligeras en todos sus aspectos

The Nairobi Protocol includes Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The agreement is available at:

Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (2007), Missing Pieces: A Guide for Reducing Gun Violence Through Parliamentary Action.

Maze, Kerry and Sarah Parker (2006), International Assistance for Implementing the PoA to Prevent,Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects: Findings of a Global Survey, United Nations, Geneva

Online resources:
• International Action Network on Small Arms: IANSA the international voice against gun violence
• United Nations Development Programme: UNDP | United Nations Development Programme
• Saferworld: Home - Saferworld
• Small Arms Survey: Small Arms Survey -*Home
• Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Parliamentary forum - Home
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