Society Under Siege
Licit Responses to Illicit Arms
Towards Collaborative Peace
Volume II

Society Under Siege: licit responses to Illicit arms is the second volume in the Towards Collaborative Peace Series. The Towards Collaborative Peace Series aimed to document that dynamics of illegal trade in small arms in Southern Africa.

The Society Under Siege series comprises three volumes which outline, "why light weapons should be more effectively controlled in Southern Africa, … the underlying reasons for the occurrence of the proliferation of light weapons, the present dynamics of light weapons proliferation and the way in which existing regional structures could be used to stem the flows". As a series, Society Under Siege represents an umbrella of thought on small arms, tracking the debate from the comparative international initiatives, through regional policy options, to the South African reality. It shows the link between crime and small arms (Volume 1); it accesses which structures are in place in Africa and South Africa to prevent and combat illicit trafficking (Volume 2); and, finally, it makes the connection between legal weapons, illegal weapons and the culture of violence on a national level (Volume 3). This information provides a comprehensive overview of the information needed to address the problems of small arms in the case study of South Africa.
This, the second volume in the series, Society Under Siege: Licit Responses to Illicit Arms shows "a number of recent international and regional approaches taken by organisations to make the curbing of small arms proliferation conceivable within their frames of reference". This is based on the finding that the dynamics of small arms proliferation is so complex that "it will be difficult to generate a single international initiative that will mobilise all others for the resolution of the problem". The volume presents an overview of the international initiatives on small arms, especially the efforts of the UN. As comparative examples, initiatives within the OAS and the OAU are considered for their potential to address small arms proliferation. At a Southern African sub-regional level, the mandate for action on small arms is considered with regard to SADC and sub-regional groupings, namely the ISDSC and SARPCCO. The focus of the volume is on Southern Africa and it looks at "the interpretation of the regional views and needs in respect to light weapons proliferation … [and] at existing mechanisms for joint action that can be enhanced to accommodate the issue of arms control".

This publication comprises of the following chapters:
  • International initiatives on the control of weapons by S Meek

  • The international Agenda: Finding Leverage points and making action possible by V Gamba

  • The United Nations by S Meek

  • The Organisation of American States by S Meek

  • The Organisation of African Unity by R Cornwell

  • The Southern African development Community and small arms proliferation by S Solomon & J Cilliers

  • Light weapons and early warning : initial steps by S Meek

  • Small arms proliferation in South Africa: Towards regional action by Virginia Gamba

Contents - PDF Files


Notes on contributors


Virginia Gamba and Sarah Meek

Chapter 1
International Initiatives on the Control of Weapons
Sarah Meek

Chapter 2
The International Agenda: Finding Levarage Points and Making Action Possible
Virginia Gamba

Chapter 3
The United Nations
Sarah Meek

Chapter 4
The Organisation of American States
Sarah Meek

Chapter 5
The Organisation of African Unity
Richard Cornwell

Chapter 6
The Southern African Development Community and Small Arms Proliferation
Hussein Solomon and Jakkie Cilliers

Chapter 7
Light Weapons and Early Warning: Initial Steps
Sarah Meek

Small Arms Proliferation in Southern Africa: Towards Regional Action
Virginia Gamba

Annex 1
Guidelines for International Arms Transfers in the Context of General Assembly Resolution 46/36H of 6 December 1991

Annex 2
Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials

Annex 3
Southern Africa Regional Action Programme on Light Arms and Illicit Arms Trafficking