Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Nicosia, Cyprus, February 18-19, 2011; an Inter-Parliamentary Conference for Middle Eastern and North African States was held in Nicosia, Cyprus in February and was organised by the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus and the the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Lights Weapons.

The seminar drew a lot of attention and approximately fifty participants attended the two-day seminar and among these were: Members of Parliaments from Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Cyprus, Sweden, and Colombia, as well as representation from Embassies, International Organisations, Research Institutes, and the Media. Among the expert speakers in the programme were both Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and Small Arms Survey represented. From civil society were Mr. Fadi Abi Allam, President of Permanent Peace Movement, Lebanon, and Member of International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) invited as a key note speaker.

Cyprus, Nicosia

The opening ceremony was chaired by Hon. Ibrahim Sorie, Vice-President of the Parliamentary Forum on SALW, Member of Parliament, Sierra Leone; H.E. the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Markos Kyprianou, address read by Ambassador, Mrs. Rea Yiordamlis, Political Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and H.E. the President of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Marios Garoyian.

The proliferation and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons is a major threat to development, democracy and security in many parts of the world, and hence a serious concern for parliamentarians world-wide. For many states in the MENA region human security is becoming an urgent preoccupation. The increasing number of small arms in circulation is a threat to individuals and communities in everyday life. There is an estimation of 50-90 million small arms in the region, of which 80% are in the hands of the civilian population.

Parliamentarians have a key role in all aspects of the multi-dimensional approach needed to address proliferation of small arms and that of the complex problem of small arms proliferation. The MENA region has several ongoing conflicts, which increases the risks and proliferation of small arms and requires committed efforts by the international community for preventive diplomacy and to uphold international law.

Sarah Parker, Secretary General Peter Weiderud, MP Christer Winbäck

The main topics of discussion were; Security Sector Reform (SSR), including presentations from the Police Sector, on Parliamentary oversight of Stockpile Management of Conventional Ammunition, the Role of Civil Society in Security Sector Reform and the Role of Parliamentarians in Security Sector Reform. Key note speakers were also invited to present on Model Legislations on Firearms and Related Materials and on Arms Transfer related to the concerns and responsibilities for the MENA region.

At the end of the conference the participants adopted the ‘Nicosia Declaration’ taking into account the main issues addressed.

Please find the report, final meeting declaration, and other relevant material here

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