Small Arms & Light Weapons: A challenge to the churches

International Action Network on Small Arms
Although disarmament is a global concern involving many people at many levels, there is a need to coordinate these efforts to enhance human security through preventing the proliferation and misuse of small arms.

The WCC is a founding member of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), an umbrella organization which provides a framework for mutual support and information flow between member organizations.

Officially launched at the Hague Appeal for Peace (11 May 1999), IANSA already includes over 200 members in 40 countries.

Cooperation between the WCC and IANSA will stimulate and strengthen the work of the churches on microdisarmament.
Such a diverse membership means that the issue is approached in a holistic way through the following:

campaigning for an international code of conduct on arms exports;
reintegrating former combatants into society;
eliminating the conditions that foster reliance on guns for private self defense;
public education schemes to tackle the glorification of gun violence;
raising awareness of the impact of small arms; and
community development and disarmament.

Key functions of the network include:

maintaining effective information sharing mechanisms;
facilitating and coordinating advocacy and campaigning;
assisting organizations in developing countries to develop their capacity; and
giving a voice to those who have suffered because of small arms use.

The WCC is a member of the Reference Group, which is responsible for the overall management, governance and programme objectives of the network. In addition, three members of the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) were nominated to the Facilitation Committee (FC) which is responsible for the regular operational management of IANSA. Its duties include:

expanding the network to include numbers from a full range of regions and areas;
ensuring that IANSA's services and functions are maintained;
identifying and pursuing strategic opportunities; and
managing the Secretariat.

For more information about IANSA or a regional listing of member organizations and events, visit their web page at or contact:

Sally Joss, IANSA Coordinator
International Action Network on Small Arms
Box 422, 37 Store Street
London, WC1E 7BS
United Kingdom


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