Control Arms members join forces in pushing for the Democratic Republic of Congo’s accession to the Arms Trade Treaty. Femmes des Médias pour la Justice au Congo (FMJC), WILPF-DRC and Vision Gram-International have been working together to raise awareness and advocate for the ATT’s universalisation.
Between 14 and 20 March 2016, FMJC National Coordinator, Kenneth Enim Ampi met with members of the Parliament, the Defense and Security and the External Relations Committees, as well as governmental officials working on SALW and gun violence prevention to advocate for the ATT. These meetings resulted in the inclusion of the ATT legislative proposal in the draft timetable for the National Assembly, which was approved on 21 March 2016. As such, the ATT accession will be considered by the National Assembly in its March – May 2016 session.
As part of the same collaborative efforts, Vision GRAM-International hosted “the Role of Congolese Civil Society in the Universalisation of the Arms Trade Treaty” workshop, on March 19 in Bukavu, the South Kivu province. The event was attended by over thirty representatives of civil society organisations, provincial authorities, officials from the Ministry of Justice and media representatives from eastern DRC, and aimed to inform the participants about the need for the Treaty’s immediate universalisation and implementation and to engage their support in advocacy efforts. At the end of discussions, recommendations were made for convening another meeting to build on the achievements of the workshop and to explore the possibilities of setting-up of a national coalition.
FMJC, WILPF-DRC and Vision Gram will continue their collaboration, organising meetings with members of the Parliament in order to advocate and educate them on the ATT legislative proposal. One very positive development is that representatives from these three organisations have been invited by National Committee Presidents to committee meetings discussing the ATT legislation.