The Member States of ECOWAS met for a common position in preparation for the 8th Meeting of the United Nations Program on Light and Small Arms (UN PoA)
Participants at the opening ceremony of the regional meeting to formulate a common position of ECOWAS Member States within the framework of the 8th Biennial Meeting of States on the United Nations Program of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons ( A PoA)
Dakar, 15 June - The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through the Small Arms Division is organizing a regional meeting in Dakar Senegal from Wednesday 15 to Thursday 16, aimed at assisting States ECOWAS members to have a common position at the Eighth Biennial Meeting of States (BMS8) on the United Nations Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UN PoA).
The BMS8, which will be held in New York from June 27 to July 1, should result in the unanimous adoption of a final document, with the aim of stemming the threats linked to this category of weapons. ECOWAS representative, Joseph Piex Ahoba, expressed optimism that the meeting would result in a common position of ECOWAS member states.
The Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Dakar, Theodor Proffe, praised the efforts of this West African organization to strengthen control of SALW. As a partner, he said, his country supports all governments in the region with regard to the control of small arms and light weapons.
Amaury Hoste, Head of the Governance and Stability Entity at the Delegation of the European Union in Senegal, underlines that for the EU, the United Nations Program of Action and international tracing remain the essential starting point for any new action on illicit SALW at national, regional and international level.
The EU would like this meeting to lead to the creation of an "open-ended" group of technical experts, capable of "guaranteeing the effectiveness and application of the international instrument". He believes that it is the "common responsibility" of the States to "launch this process and make it operational".
This meeting was organized through the Organized Crime: West Africa Response to Trafficking (OCWAR - T), an ECOWAS program co-funded by the European Union and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
For more information on the OCWAR-T project: