Monday, July 6, 2009

Speedily ratification of convention on small arms is imperative- WAANSA PRESIDENT

The president of The West Africa Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA), Bafuor Dokyi Amoa has called on Goverment of Ghana and others within the West Africa sub-region to speedily ratify the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) convention on small arms and light weapons to improve gun control within the sub region. It is important to assist the United Nation Secretary General to gather sufficient views on armed violence and development to share its position in more details on the feasibility parameters of arms trade treaty with the United Nations open-Ended working group to fast track the ATT negotiations.
This was contained in a statement signed by the president of WAANSA to mark the celebrations of the Global Week of Action which clear-cut from 15th -21st June, 2009.The week of action is set aside for civil society around the world to undertake activities aimed at calling the attention of Government to take actions to curb the gun menace to enable people and society live in peace. “Armed violence and abuse of illicit small arms and light weapons continued to pose serious challenge especially in Ghana.”
Mr. Amoa further reiterated that, information gathered by his outfit disclosed that, the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) discovered that thousands of people died every day through guns and many more injured. To emphasis the seriousness that West Africa is attached to the threat posed by small arms proliferation, a workshop was organized in Togo April this year for civil society from West, Central and Northern Africa on “supporting an arms trade treaty” under the care of the United Nations Regional Center for Peace Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and WAANSA.
He said this was followed with a forum on small arms policy for ECOWAS small arms National Commissions sponsored by the UNDP –Japan Partnership Fund and the decision taken was to curb the gun menace facing the world. In view of these actions by WAANSA and its collaborators such as Oxfam Britain, UNDP, and IANSA among others it lauded the government of Ghana Prof. Evans John Atta Mills for the position he had taken to fight armed violence and the proliferation of small arms light weapons in the country.
BY: Michael F. Amedor

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