ECOWAS Regulating Arms Brokering In Region

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The ECOWAS Commission trough the OCWAR-T project held a Technical Experts Meeting for the Validation of Study Report on Arms Brokering in the ECOWAS Region.

The ECOWAS Small Arms and Light Weapons Division (SALW) through the Organised Crime: West African Response to Trafficking (OCWAR-T) project organized a Technical Experts Meeting for the Validation of Study Report on Arms Brokering in the ECOWAS Region.

The meeting’s objective is to review and validate a draft study report and operational guidelines for regulating arms brokering in the ECOWAS Region. The operational guidelines when finalised will enable ECOWAS and its Member States to better regulate importation and exportation of arms and contribute to the reduction of illicit transfers and diversions of arms and ammunition into unauthorized hands.

The meeting was opened by the Head of the ECOWAS Small Division, Mr. Piex Joseph Ahoba, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NATCOM) of Ghana, Mrs. Afia A. Yakubu and the Deputy Head of the OCWAR-T project Phidelia Amey. In his opening remarks, the representative of the ECOWAS Commission highlighted the importance of the regulation of arms brokering activities as a key mechanism for national and regional efforts to prevent, combat, and eradicate illicit circulation, trafficking and proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.

He expressed his optimism that this meeting will elicit inputs that will enrich the draft Operational Guidelines on Arms Brokering given the richness of the experts assembled for the meeting.The representative of NATCOM of Ghana in her speech commended ECOWAS and the partners for producing such a report which provides an excellent basis for an in-depth discussion on the issue of arms brokering within the subregion. She further stated that, the study report and the accompanying operational guidelines provide further basis for Member States to elaborate laws and procedures that will regulate brokering practices.

OCWAR-T is an ECOWAS project, commissioned by the German Government and co-funded by the EU. GIZ jointly implements OCWAR-T with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mines Advisory Group (MAG), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Global Initiative Against Organised Crime (GITOC) .

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