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Africa Amnesty Month

Norwegian statement by Ambassador Morten Aasland at the AUPSC open session, 5. September 2019


Mr Chairman, SRSG Hanna Tetteh, Ambassadors, Excellencies,

Norway applauds the aspirations of the “Silencing the Guns” initiative and Agenda 2063 for a peaceful and secure Africa. We commend the AU and its Member States for their ambition and engagement.

We are encouraged by the UNSC Resolution passed earlier this year providing full support for Silencing the Guns.

As co-chair of the African Union Partners’ Group, we encourage partners to support the initiative.

We take this opportunity to thank H.E. Amb. Lamamra, High-Representative for Silencing the Guns, for his briefing to the AUPG earlier this year.


Allow me to make three points:

Illicit use and flows of small arms and light weapons undermine security, the rule of law and social development. They are factors behind violence, forced displacement of civilians, and massive human rights violations. Africa Amnesty Month for the surrender and collection of illicit arms and light weapons is an important instrument in restricting and taking precautionary measures on the use of firearms.

Africa Amnesty month is also an opportunity to consider how to accelerate the 2020 Silencing the Guns Roadmap. 2020 is a short time away. In this regard, we welcome and support the strengthened partnership between the AU and the UN, not least between the PSC and the UN Security Council. Norway is co-chairing the Group of Friends of the UN-AU partnership together with Rwanda, and we take this opportunity to ensure the PSC of our intent to support the Silencing the Guns initiative both through the Group of Friends and through other mechanisms.


The guns in Africa will not be silenced without women’s full and equal participation. Women’s involvement in efforts across the peace continuum is key to enhancing trust, legitimacy and credibility. Women’s participation in preventing conflicts and mediating them makes it possible to reach solutions that are more effective and sustainable.

This is why we are staunch supporters of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. We will continue to work with key partners such as the AU Special Envoy Madame Diop, and the network of African women mediators, FemWise-Africa, to achieve full inclusion.


As the Silencing the Guns initiative approaches its last year of implementation, Norway pledges to continue to be a consistent partner, committed to contribute to our collective security and our common future.

Thank you.