On 18 June, 2018, Cameroon deposited the Arms Trade Treaty instrument of ratification at the United Nations Headquarters, becoming the 96th State Party to the ATT. This brings the tally of States Parties to almost half of the United Nation member states.
Control Arms member Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace (CAMYOSFOP) worked tirelessly to encourage the Treaty’s ratification in Cameroon through engaging workshops and roundtables with parliamentarians, governmental officials, journalists and other stakeholders as well as advocacy and awareness raising campaigns for the general public.
Executive Director Eugen Ngalim stated: “The civil society in Cameroon is proud to have played a leading role in mobilizing the government towards this ratification, especially CAMYOSFOP that pulls the cross section of the civil society in Cameroon, on her advocacy for the need for Cameroon to ratify the ATT. The collaboration with the Ministry of External Relations and support from partners including Control Arms, RECSA, Swiss Foreign Ministry and the ATT Voluntary Trust fund have been key to the ratification. We hope the same collaboration will continue in the implementation of the treaty.”
Cameroonian ratification carries significant importance as the Central African region is heavily affected by poorly regulated arms flows. Levels of ATT universalization in this region remain low with only 3 out of 9 states having joined the ATT to date. Furthermore, as the last ATT ratification in Africa was Benin’s on 07 November 2016, Cameroon’s ratification offers a great opportunity to raise awareness and momentum among other African states and call on them to join the Treaty.
Cameroon’s ratification comes on the 38th day of Control Arms’ ATT universalization campaign, #SprintTo100 – that means 62 days left before the start of the 2018 Conference of States Parties in Tokyo, Japan, and 62 days to reach 100 States Parties to the ATT.