Ghana calls for robust implementation of Arms Trade Treaty

By
Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, Dec. 3, GNA –
Mr Jones Applerh, Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Small Arms
and Light Weapons (NCSALW), has called for the robust implementation of the
Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to ensure that its objectives are achieved.

He said Ghana
reiterates its strong conviction that ATT must be implemented in its entirety
to achieve its objective, namely to establish the highest possible common
international standards for regulating the international trade in conventional
arms and to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and
ammunition and prevent their diversion.

The ATT is the first
legally-binding instrument ever negotiated in the United Nations to establish
common standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons.

It seeks to reduce
human suffering caused by illegal and irresponsible arms transfers, improve
regional security and stability, as well as to promote accountability and
transparency by state parties concerning transfers of conventional arms.

Mr Applerh made the
call on Tuesday in his address at the opening of the Regional Workshop on
International Arms Transfer Control in Accra.

The two-day workshop
is being organised by the European Union (EU) in collaboration with the NCSALW
and Expertise France.

It brought together
37 participants from Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Zambia, as
well experts from the ECOWAS Commission, German and French Government.

The participants are
expected to discuss the effective implementation of ATT and present the steps
taken, in their respective countries, to execute the provisions of the Treaty.

Mr Applerh said the
implementation of the Treaty is a national responsibility in the framework of
national control systems that the member states have established and maintain.

He said multilateral
export control regimes and other types of international, regional and
sub-regional cooperation could support these efforts.

Mr Applerh said
although different countries started from different points of implementation,
with different legal systems, arms trade profiles and administrative resources,
they could all benefit from exchange of information and good practices from
other countries.

“Frequent voluntary
information exchange will contribute, over time, to an effective dissemination
of proven practices, national guidelines and operational processes. It will
also facilitate trust and confidence among the partners,” he said.

Mr Applerh said
Ghana finds the EU’s ATT Outreach Programme being implemented by Expertise
France and the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control
(BAFA) to be instrumental in advancing the implementation of the ATT Africa.

“The programme
continues to provide support to partner countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and
Latin America for the establishment of national control systems and national
control lists, drafting and reviewing of the legislative and regulatory
framework, prevention of diversion, and in the area of customs and law
enforcement.”

Mr Olivier
Leonarduzzi, Key Expert, Expertise France, said to contribute to the effective
implementation and universalization of the ATT, the EU has been for almost six
years, assisting several countries to strengthen their national arms transfer
control systems and increase ownership of the ATT at national and regional
level.

GNA

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