ECOWAS National Commissions on Small Arms and Light Arms meet

Picture I Tma Social Ecowas Arms
Picture I Tma Social Ecowas Arms

The National Commissions responsible for controlling and combating the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in the ECOWAS region met in the Togolese capital, Lomé on the Annual Coordination Meeting.

National Commissions on Small Arms (NATCOMS) have the responsibility to assist their governments in the design of national strategies and policies on the control and fight against the proliferation and illicit trafficking of SALW.

Mr Lukas Frucht, First Secretary of Political and Economic Affairs of the German Embassy in Togo who represented the German Ambassador in Togo recalled that Germany and the European Union supported the regional and national efforts.

In a statement made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tema on Monday, Mr Frucht said the support was offered through the Organised Crime: West African Response to trafficking (OCWAR-T) project.

OCWAR-T is an ECOWAS project commissioned by the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union (EU) and coordinated by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

He also expressed the desire to see an evaluation of the implementation of the Convention at the national level, in order to have a baseline for future support measures.

Mr Sergio Marinelli in his capacity as Minister-Counsellor to the EU delegation in Togo indicated that the regional coordination meeting coincided with the rise of terrorism and violent extremism.
He said the meeting, therefore, offered the platform for participating nations and other stakeholders to learn from each other to improve the practices in the fight against the scourge of small arms and light weapons.
Mr. Abdel-Fatau Musah, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of ECOWAS, pointed out that ”the usual configuration of voting for the annual meeting has changed to stress the need to strengthen our control and decision-making mechanisms so that they are more effective in making the National Commissions more visible”.

NATCOMS support and coordinate the activities of the various government agencies in the national effort to control the proliferation and stop the illicit circulation of SALW.

NATCOMS are, therefore, placed in a key position as a strategic entry point for ECOWAS Commission interventions on SALW control in the region, while the ECOWAS Commission organises an annual coordination meeting of NATCOMs to harmonise national efforts in a regional form on SALW control.

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