ECOWAS holds regional conference to facilitate disarmament

The President of ECOWAS, Omar Aliou Touray, has called on member states to sustain efforts at reducing access to small arms and ammunition.

“With the spate of terrorist attacks, banditry, and kidnappings in parts of our countries, the need for sustained effort towards reducing access to small arms and ammunition cannot be overemphasised,” he said.

President Touray made the call at the regional conference on disarmament, held in Abuja, Nigeria, as the part of efforts to intensify the fight against illicit proliferation of weapons and the search for peace and security in West Africa.

The conference was jointly organised by the ECOWAS and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), attended by global experts.

It constitutes a remarkable step forward in disarmament cooperation actions at the regional level, with the expected outcomes being in-depth assessments of regional, continental, and global arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation regimes.

President Touray, in a speech read on his behalf, commended UNIDIR for the research actions in disarmament.

Through those actions, ECOWAS seeks to strengthen its regional arms control agreements by deploying technical and financial resources to support arms control policies in the region.

Mr Robin Geiss, UNIDIR Director, said ECOWAS and UNIDIR had cooperated on arms control, disarmament, and the reduction of armed violence in West Africa for many years.

Significant efforts had been made; however, it remains important to increase actions across the Region for arms control, he said, and commended ECOWAS for the important regional initiative.

Source: GNA

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