Ghana makes case at UN against abuse of small arms

Ghana has told the United Nations that the proliferation and abuse of conventional weapons, particularly Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and their ammunition continue to undermine world peace and security as well as sustainable development.

It argued that the supplies of SALW to non-state actors in a volatile world which is experiencing significant fragility, organized crime and terrorism is not the route to take by those truly committed to sustainable peace and development.

Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Martha Ama Pobee, presented her country’s position during the thematic debate on Conventional Weapons at the UN headquarters in New York.

“Such acts breed instability and insecurity and they weaken our common quest for a world free from war, a world where human rights are guaranteed and a world dedicated to socio-economic development”, she stated.

To this end, the Ambassador appealed to arms producing countries to ensure that the supply of SALW was limited to only governments and entities duly authorized by them, pointing out that “our collective efforts to combat terrorism will not achieve the desired results, if we continue to supply arms to non-state actors.”

While acknowledging that all governments needed conventional weapons to protect their citizens, she maintained that Ghana and 47 other like-minded states want a regulation and control of ammunition for SALW to be included in the implementation of the Programme of Action.

ln this direction, she indicated that these states would pursue the issue at the appropriate multilateral forums since the real value of SALW depended on the availability of ammunition.

Going forward, she said, Ghana called for the broadening of assistance and support for SALW control initiatives to include developing countries that have not emerged out of conflict.

Aside these, the country called for increased technical and financial assistance for Civil Society Groups, to enable them to continue with their critical roles in the implementation of programmes in West Africa.

Ghana was particularly happy that the implementation of the ECOWAS Convention on SALW, their ammunition and other related materials by the regional body has been able to preserve the peace and security in the area, the Ambassador noted.

Source: Government of Ghana.