As part of the “100 Days of Speaking Out!”, a countdown to the treaty negotiations, Control Arms will regularly feature stories and profiles of different people who support a bulletproof ATT.

On April 26-27, representatives from civil society gathered with Member States from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria to discuss the upcoming Arms Trade Treaty Diplomatic Conference. The 15 countries present at the meeting reinforced the ECOWAS common position on the ATT by discussing key stances and approaches to the upcoming July negotiations. At the meeting, presentations were given on various topics including substantive issue areas for the potential treaty text, perceived challenges in the negotiation process, and strategies for ensuring the ATT includes a comprehensive scope and criteria based on international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Zoran Jovanovic, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Nigeria, drew attention to the important work of the conference saying:

“The unregulated trade in arms causes immense human suffering in armed conflicts and other situations of violence, particularly among civilians… It is therefore imperative that arms transfers be strictly regulated on a global level. The upcoming treaty negotiations offer a rare and very important opportunity to reach a worldwide agreement on the principles, content and scope of a legally binding instrument to curb the human cost associated with poor regulation of arms transfers. The ICRC welcomes and supports this initiative.”

Baffour Amoa is President of the West African Action Network on Small Arms, a member of the Control Arms coalition. He provided a strong presentation on criteria within the future treaty, and also shared information about the ATT Legal Response Network and its capacity to offer free expert legal advice to states. As Mr. Amoa noted,

“The meeting provided a unique opportunity for ECOWAS Member States to update their knowledge on the state of play at the UN PrepComs and to strategize for the upcoming Diplomatic Conference in July. All the 15 States are now committed to adequately prepare and gear up for the July conference”.

Share this post:

Verified by MonsterInsights