The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through the Small Arms Division has organised a regional meeting in Dakar, Senegal.
The meeting was for the Member States to adopt a common position in preparation for the eighth Meeting of the United Nations Programme on Light and Small Arms (UN PoA).
Assisting States ECOWAS members to have a common position at the Eighth Biennial Meeting of States (BMS8) on the United Nations Programme 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 would 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 organised through the Organised 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.