Within the framework of the fight against the illicit proliferation of weapons and the search for peace and security in West Africa, ECOWAS and UNIDIR will organize the ECOWAS Regional Conference on Disarmament from 8 to 09 November 2022, which will bring together global subject matter experts to discuss past and current developments in the fields of disarmament.
Through its own actions, ECOWAS seeks to strengthen its regional arms control agreements and pursues relentless deployment of technical and financial resources in support of the arms control policy arrangements in the region. As Regional Economic Community (REC), on the African Continent, ECOWAS has undertaken multiple independent but complimentary arms control initiatives over the years. From the Declaration of the Moratorium on Import, Export and Manufacture of Arms to the current legally binding ECOWAS Convention on SALW, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials.
The Objective of this meeting It is to bring to the ECOWAS region ongoing global conversations n disarmament as well as arms control issues. More specificly, these annual seminar series will also generate wide spectrum of discussions dwelling on diverse thematic issues, with experts’ analysis in panel sessions, drawn globally to address the key issues. These would add to the understanding of the member states of these obligations and would provide them the opportunities for further collaborations and on the right stead to deliver on their commitments.
During these major events in the field of regional security, we will note the participation of various panelists: from the ECOWAS Commission represented by Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security (CPAPS) as well as representatives of relevant UN Entities ‘’UNIDIR’’, African Union Commission, Member States, international organizations, CSOs and industry.
The expected outcomes envisaged to form the focus of the annual seminar series will include deepening assessments of these regional, continental, and global arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation regimes. As such, based on annual priorities (to be defined jointly by ECOWAS and UNIDIR), issues of obligations and commitments will be on the discussion table.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established when the ECOWAS Treaty was signed by 15 West African Heads of State and Government on the 28th of May 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria. The ECOWAS region spans an area of 5.2 million square kilometres. The Member States are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.
Considered one of the pillars of the African Economic Community, ECOWAS was set up to promote co-operation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in West Africa to raise the living standards of its peoples, and to maintain and enhance economic stability, foster relations-among Member States and contribute to the progress and development of the African continent.
In 2007, ECOWAS Secretariat was transformed into a Commission. The Commission is headed by the President, as- sisted by a Vice President, and Five Commissioners, comprising experienced bureaucrats who are providing the leadership in this new orientation. As part of this renewal process, ECOWAS is implementing critical and strategic programmes that will deepen cohesion and progressively eliminate identified barriers to full integration. In this way, the estimated 300 million citizens of the community can ultimately take ownership for the realization of the new vision of moving from an ECOWAS of States to an “ECOWAS of the People: Peace and Prosperity to All” by 2050.
UNIDIR is a voluntarily funded, autonomous institute within the United Nations. One of the few policy institutes worldwide focusing on disarmament, UNIDIR generates knowledge and promotes dialogue and action on disarmament and security. Based in Geneva, UNIDIR assists the international community to develop the practical, innovative ideas needed to find solutions to critical security problems.