Reducing armed violence and small arms proliferation in the Pacific

The Pacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG) was formed in July 2009 to coordinate civil society action to reduce the deadly impact of small arms and light weapons in our region. While the Pacific has so far escaped the ‘AK-47 plague’ that so devastates other parts of the world, small arms have already fuelled armed conflict in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji. Bougainville, once the most prosperous province of PNG, became one of the poorest following a decade of armed violence. Even in nations at peace, the Pacific experience shows how a small number of guns can have a very large impact, particularly in crime, provincial rivalry, sexual and gender-based violence and political upheaval. Fortunately, early intervention and prevention are still options in the Pacific.

PSAAG facilitates Pacific implementation of the United Nations small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA) and promotes activation of the legally binding UN Arms Trade Treaty. We also use our civil society networks and expertise to support local, national and regional initiatives that tackle armed violence in our region, especially where it undermines justice, human security, development, public health, gender equity and human rights.

As the only Pacific-based coalition focussed on armed violence we facilitate coordination, information sharing and lobbying between governments, UN and regional bodies, NGOs and other stakeholders. PSAAG publishes and disseminates evidence-based research and policy analysis and supports partners in local initiatives to reduce and prevent armed violence while reducing the proliferation of firearms in our region.