National Consultation Workshop on Reviewing Existing National Action Plans Relevant to Gender Responsive Small Arms Control
Vangvieng, Lao PDR, 11 March 2022 – In collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and Pacific (UNRCPD), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR hosted a national consultation workshop with the aim of reviewing the country’s National Action Plans relevant to gender-responsive small arms control.
The event, held in Vangvieng, gathered key institutions and governmental agencies dealing with security and defence affairs, justice and law, gender equality, youth, and education, as well as national forces and parliamentarians. Experts from UNRCPD and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) joined the event via Zoom.
The workshop, which followed the hybrid training on gender and small arms control held in Vientiane in July 2021, was funded by the European Union as part of a global project led by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) to support gender mainstreamed policies, programmes and actions in the fight against small arms trafficking and misuse.
The national workshop in Vangvieng provided the participants (15 men; 10 women) with the opportunity to discuss with UNRCPD and UNIDIR experts the benefit of synchronizing national agendas on sustainable development, gender equality, sustaining peace and the implementation of the UN Programme of Action.
Consultations among national participants focused on identifying areas of convergence among small arms control and gender-related frameworks and policies. Among these, the National Plan of Action on Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children (2021-2025), the Vision 2030 and 10-Year National Strategy on Gender Equality (2016–2025), and the draft law on firearms and explosive devices, currently under finalization.
The second round of consultation focused on the need to develop a National Action Plan (NAP) on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) control and establish a National Coordination Mechanism (NCM), which would include stakeholders responsible for different but converging agendas.
The event concluded with the drafting of an outcome document that will serve as a policy brief for further work on improving the national system on small arms control and the systematic integration of a gender perspective. In addition, UNRCPD assisted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the translation from EN to Laotian of two key modules of MOSAIC, namely the one on national coordination mechanisms and the one on designing and implementing a National Action Plan.
For further information, please contact Ms Ida Scarpino, Regional Programme Coordinator on Gender and SALW at the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) via email: email@example.com.