On 2nd and 3rd March, the Pan-African Parliament, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons, organised a regional seminar on the Trade Treaty in small arms and light weapons and the United Nations action programme on the reduction in the arms trade, through greater parliamentary commitment and the process of international actions.
The meeting was attended by the accredited Equatorial Guinea Extraordinary Plenipotentiary Ambassador to South Africa, Francisco Edu Ngue Mangue, together with the accredited diplomatic corps in the city of Pretoria.
Violence and prolonged conflict in various African countries is fed by the availability and undue use of small arms and light weapons”, affirmed Larin Olofsson, General Secretary of the parliamentary forum on these arms.
The illicit flow of arms negatively affects sustainable development, and constitutes a threat to human peace and security. The effective steps to confront the uncontrolled proliferation of small arms and light weapons are crucial in order to prevent and reduce armed violence. The parliamentarians play a vital role in the prevention and reduction of armed violence on our continent”, said the general secretary.
Furthermore, the president of the Pan-African parliament, Roger Nkodo Dang, from Cameroon, in his opening speech, affirmed that,
A solution to this problem of the proliferation, circulation and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons that is unsettling and destabilising the African continent, may be found if member States come forward and ratify the Malabo Protocol”.
“It is thus the desire of the Pan-African Parliament to request our national and regional parliaments to facilitate and oversee the implementation of regional and international instruments regarding these arms, a necessary condition for peace, security and sustainable development in all our peoples. As the continental parliament, the Pan-African Parliament needs a strengthened mandate in order to actively facilitate and provide participation in the risks posed by small arms and light weapons”, continued Nkodo Dang in his speech.
The parliamentary recommendations from the seminar were gathered into a regional parliamentary action plan as part of preparations for the upcoming III Action Programme Review Conference, to be held in New York in June 2018.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea