After years of civil society advocacy, Togo became a States Party to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on 8 October 2015. Their ratification of the Treaty reflects the will of the Togolese government to contribute to the regulation of the arms trade, and its efforts in the fight against the illicit proliferation of weapons and its consequences. It strengthens its international reputation, including among other West African states and will contribute to strengthening control of the arms trade worldwide. The country has struggled greatly in recent years against maritime piracy and terrorism in particular. As a result, Togo will host a summit on maritime safety for African Union states in 2016. Earlier this month, Lomé was host to a two day seminar on the ATT for parliamentarians and other stakeholders.
The UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), which is based in Lomé, said in a press release that the ratification demonstrates the will of the country to be a key actor in initiating tangible solutions for a more responsible and transparent arms trade.
Togolese civil society, notably the organisations CJSP-Togo and CDI-Togo, members of the Control Arms coalition and the West African Action Network on Small Arms, engaged proactively with the Togolese government throughout the ratification process.
During the UNGA First Committee, Togo said in their statement that they intend to take, without delay , the necessary measures to review national legislation, in particular the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code to ensure that they align with the ATT. Togo intends to fully meet its obligations under the Treaty and will look to the support of all its development partners.
There are presently 77 States Parties to the ATT, and a further 55 governments that have signed it but not yet ratified. There are fourteen States Parties from Africa (South Africa, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Chad and Togo).