Created in 1999, the Coalition Nationale de la Société Civile pour la Paix et la Lutte contre la Prolifération des Armes Légères (CONASCIPAL; in English 'National Coalition of Civil Society for Peace and the Fight Against the Proliferation of Light Weapons') is an umbrella group of Malian civil society groups. Its member organisations include the founding families of Bamako as well as civic, religious, women’s, youth and artisan groups.
CONASCIPAL’s aim is to promote peace and security in Mali as essential components of sustainable development. Through the synergy of their actions, CONASCIPAL’s members support the participation and involvement of all relevant actors (including civil society organisations, the state, local communities and the private sector) in maintaining peace, security and a shared governance structure in Mali.
Through its members, CONASCIPAL is committed to intervening in conflicts in Mali in order to establish the peace, security and tolerance required to ensure social, economic and political development. CONASCIPAL offers a framework for dialogue and consultation, and acts as a channel for the provision of information and education activities to communities, with the overall objective of contributing to conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
CONASCIPAL supports peace and security initiatives undertaken by its members as well as by other CSOs at the national, sub-regional and international levels, and strives to strengthen the efficiency and synergy of collaborative relations between CSOs and other key actors.
Nationally, CONASCIPAL has had success, among others, with the following projects:
- In May 1999, delivery of the report of the national workshop of Conascipal-Mali to West African civil society organisations (in Togo, Niger Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast, through the UNDP).
- In April 1999, disseminating the “arms farewell” cassette to youth at the Catholic Church of Samaya and women in all the parishes of the Diocese of Bamako.
- In April 2000, organising an inter-regional workshop in Gao on "the place and the role of civil society in the fight against the proliferation of small arms”, under the high patronage of three High Commissioners in the regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.
- During 2002-2003, organising a workshop to launch the "campaign of civil society in the fight against insecurity and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the District of Bamako. The stages of the campaign have resulted in the creation of an action plan to combat insecurity including the proliferation of small arms, by municipalities, and a tripartite framework of consultation/collaboration between all actors in the field in each commune.
- In 2005, participation in the States General of security and peace organised by the departments of Homeland Security and Civil Protection.
- In 2007, organising the first Forum of civil society on security governance. Development of a strategic plan to define strategy and to refocus intervention on the context of decentralisation and the changing peace and security environment in Mali and the sub-region. Given the diversity of its members and the problems of security and peace throughout the national territory, CONASCIPAL is committed to take into account the realities of its environment and the specific characteristics of the different actors.
- In 2010, organising workshops for the exchange of information and development of a Community Leadership in the fight against crime, the proliferation of small arms and insecurity in the six municipalities of the District of Bamako.
- In December 2010, producing a study entitled "Perspectives of civil society on policy of Prevention, management, and fight against terrorism in Mali.
At the international level CONASCIPAL is a founding member of the Network of civil society for the fight against small arms in West Africa (WAANSA) and the International Action Network for Small Arms IANSA. It has been involved in several initiatives, including:
- In November 2000, on the sidelines of the conference of the Foreign Ministers of the AU held in Bamako, organising, with financial support from Oxfam GB, actions to inform the public on the issue of small arm. It produced a booklet called: “From ABUJA in 1998 to Bamako in November 2000, a journey towards a real dynamic of civil society involvement in the fight against the proliferation of light weapons”.
- In July 2002, it participated in the United Nations light weapons conference, held in New York.
- In July 2003, also in New York, CONASCIPAL attended the UN Conference on the status of the implementation of the Plan of the UN Action on the prevention, combating and eradication of illicit trafficking of light weapons; including presentation of a communication on the quality of the collaboration began between the Government and civil society on the subject.
- In October 2003, it participated in an arms control campaign with the Treaty on the trade of weapons and the transformation of the moratorium into a Convention, in partnership with Oxfam GB, IANSA and Amnesty International. CONASCIPAL - Mali, acted as spokesperson for the Group of Seven on civil society.
- In November 2003, CONISCAPAL participated in the round table on the Malian vision of human security in the approach to the fight against the proliferation of light weapons, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Canadian International Cooperation.
- It has participated in ECOWAS activities: workshops on the creation of the light weapons unit, the transformation of the PCASED to ECOSAP project, and the creation of the Forum of the civil society of the West Africa (FOSCAO).
- CONASCIPAL participates in the security and governance in Africa project supported by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The project, supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) aims to strengthen the capacity of civil society in Mali and provide support and resources for civil society actors to generate increased knowledge and understanding of conflict dynamics, developing a joint strategy for their contributions to peace, security and development.
CONASCIPAL is a partner organisation of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Read more about CONASCIPAL in French here.