Support to ‘measurable reductions’ in armed violence in the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development (1), and to the practical advances in measuring and monitoring the problem within the Oslo Commitments on Armed Violence and Development (2), have created a clear constituency of Member States committed on paper to creating and building systems for national armed violence monitoring. In this perspective, the production of a national report on armed violence reflects a commitment by participating states to acknowledge and address the problem of armed violence domestically, working with domestic governmental and nongovernmental institutions, with local affected populations, and with victims and survivors. National reporting is a manifestation of sovereign accountability within participating states to the principles of humanitarianism, civilian protection, human security, and effective development.
In 2011, Norway published the first national report on armed violence and development. Since then Perú has been publishing a similar report and a number of affected countries have committed to develop national reports throughout 2012. Action on Armed Violence, in collaboration with partner civil society organisations will build on these existing efforts to develop a common guideline on the structure of national reports on armed violence and to promote this topic among countries and civil society organisations.
National reports on armed violence offer a unique opportunity to present a comprehensive picture of the problem of armed violence at national level. This is particularly helpful because:
- Through a national report countries demonstrate practically their commitment to regularly measure and monitor armed violence. This is the first step towards achieving ‘measurable reduction of armed violence by 2015.’(3)
- National reports are an opportunity for countries to demonstrate clear advances in tackling armed violence both in terms of legislations and programs. These experiences could be shared regionally and internationally to build on existing expertise and find support to tackle specific identified issues.
- ‘Without data, no problem; without problem, no solutions”. A national report on armed violence is a key opportunity to identify specific challenges at national level and to tackle these challenges effectively.
- Countries have an opportunity to identify all the actors that have a stake in armed violence reduction. This does not include only actors that work to tackle armed violence, but also people and communities that are directly affected by the problem.
- Although states should feel ownership and take the lead in drafting and producing their reports, they should ensure that they engage with all relevant actors in doing so. Past experiences have shown that including all relevant actors and organizing regular meetings with them to update on progress in drafting the report and to discuss the content of the report itself have proven as important as the final product because they offer an invaluable opportunity for exchange on practices and expertise.
- Key actors that have been included in the drafting of the report should also be included in building the responses to tackle the problems identified in the report. These integrated approaches to the problem have proven key in many countries that have implemented successful programs and policies to reduce the impact of armed violence.
Please download the document here: Rationale for National Reports on Armed Violence, AOAV, 2011
(1) Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, Geneva, June 2006. As of December 2011, 112 countries have adhered to the Declaration.
(2) Oslo Commitments on Armed Violence and Development, Geneva, May 2010. As of December 2011, more than 60 countries have adhered to the Oslo Commitments.
(3) Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, Geneva, June 2006.
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