Japan and UNDP team up to take small arms off the streets of Côte d’Ivoire

Jul 9, 2015

The first phase of the project – from March 2012 to June 2015 -- succeeded in collecting and destroying 10,000 weapons. Photo: Youssouf Diarra / UNDP in Côte d'Ivoire

Abidjan - The Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are extending a vast initiative to curb the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Côte d’Ivoire, just three months ahead of the country’s presidential election.

With an additional USD 2.7 million from Japan, the second stage of the programme, which will last for two years, will focus on building the capacity of the institutions involved in collecting, storing and destroying weapons held by different armed groups and individuals across the country. The first phase – carried out in collaboration with the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (ONUCI) from March 2012 to June 2015 -- succeeded in collecting and destroying 10,000 weapons, while boosting inventories among the police and other security institutions.

Specific efforts were made to strengthen the capacities of Côte d’Ivoire’s National Commission to curb the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Since 2012, the commission led a large campaign of outreach across the national territory to sensitize local communities on the dangers they pose.

"This project contributes to government efforts to create a secure and peaceful environment for free, transparent and democratic elections”, said Babacar Cissé, UNDP Resident Representative in Côte d'Ivoire.

“Japan is developing its new policy of proactive contribution to peace and this project is a concrete illustration. I deeply hope that this renewed and ongoing support of my country in the fight against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Côte d’Ivoire will build the foundation of a peaceful society”, added the Ambassador of Japan in Côte d’Ivoire, Hiroshi Kawamura.

UNDP and Japan are supporting the upcoming elections in Côte d’Ivoire and are supporting the country as it works to promote a secure environment for the ballot to take place.

Contact information

For more information: Youssouf Diarra, Communication Analyst, email: youssouf.diarra@undp.org Tel : 08 92 48 51

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