A sense of determination and focused energy were evident during a recent campaign advisory meeting for the Africa region that took place in Nairobi last week. It was organized by the World Council of Churches, in cooperation with Norwegian Church Aid, as part of their on-going Ecumenical Campaign for an Arms Trade Treaty.

The meeting was an opportunity to assess the outcomes of July’s Diplomatic Conference and identify next steps for the campaign in Africa. Discussion between participants revealed that the subject of ammunition remains a concern for many governments in the region. Special attention was also given to the subject of gender-based violence within the treaty. A representative of the African Union (AU) met with participants for a session that focused on furthering an AU Common Position on the ATT. As well, the Australian High Commissioner to Kenya joined meeting participants for a formal dinner where he expressed his government’s continued support for the ATT.

Participants have resolved to continue outreach not only to their national governments but also to regional and sub-regional bodies, especially ECOWAS and the AU. Internationally, the Ecumenical Campaign will emphasize the need to protect and improve the draft treaty text as the overall ATT process moves forward.

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