Ms Martha Ama Pobee, Ghana's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has noted that the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) remains a major threat to stability and security worldwide.
Ambassador Pobee pointed out that in West Africa for example, illicitly acquired conventional weapons have fueled the rise in terrorism and other forms of armed violence, transnational organized crime, corruption and drugs menace.
The negative impact of their circulation and trafficking in Africa continues to pose serious humanitarian and socio-economic challenges in many parts of the continent, she said.
Ms Pobee said this during the First Committee Thematic Debate on Conventional Weapons at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York.
She noted that the devastating impact on women and children is a global indication to compel the world to urgently address these security problems.
“To this end, Ghana hoped that the continuing engagement and concerted efforts at national, regional and global levels will lead to significant achievements in the fight against the proliferation of SALW.
“In this regard, we would urge the international community to pursue discussions already begun, on forging synergies and complementary ties between the ECOWAS Convention on SALW, the Arms Trade and Treaty and the United Nations Programme of Action with a view to their effective implementation in West Africa," she noted.
Ms Pobee reiterated Ghana’s appeal made to arms -producing countries to ensure that the supply of SALW is limited only to authorized governments and entities.
“We cannot but belabour the point that illicit transfer of these weapons to non-state actors continues to pose a grave threat to the peace and security of many countries in Africa,” she noted.
She urged Member States to take necessary action towards the implementation of Goal 16.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for the significant reduction of illicit SALW trafficking by 2030.
Whilst reminding them that posterity will not forgive them if they fail to meet that goal, Ambassador Pobee asked for a fundamental review of the nexus between disarmament and development and the current excessive global military spending in favour of meeting SDGs One and Two to end poverty, hunger and inequality.
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