Nearly one week ago, Karamoko Diakite addressed the UN Security Council as part of an open debate on small arms and light weapons. He spoke on behalf of global civil society and the countless victims of armed violence around the world. His powerful story was accompanied by a call to action that urged Council members to adopted a resolution on small arms that built on previous efforts and strengthened language on the Arms Trade Treaty.
While many governments praised his courage and thanked him for his rousing statement, they have struggled to find enough common ground to adopt the resolution. Karamoko has returned home to Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa, but upon hearing the difficulties faced in the Security Council, sent this message to diplomats in New York:
Last week I had the honour of meeting many of you when I came to the UN Security Council to present on behalf of civil society. I told you about my own experiences of living with the scourge of armed violence, fueled by the flood of small arms and light weapons into my country and my region. And I appealed to you to act, to use your collective power to ensure the robust implementation of arms control measures that can help to reduce this terrible humanitarian situation that affects not just my community, but many across the world. This week you have the opportunity to act on a new resolution, that calls for such action.
On behalf of global civil society and those impacted by armed violence, I call on you all to support this resolution.
West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA), Member of IANSA
The draft resolution as a whole has built on and improved the previous small arms resolution adopted in 2013. It specifically has improved language on the Arms Trade Treaty, gender, and connectivity with peacekeeping operations. Control Arms urges all parties involved to take advantage of this opportunity for progress and work together to adopt the resolution.