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(NEW YORK, USA), the Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations, Her Excellency Ambassador Marjon Kamara has urged the international community to adopt practical measures to prevent the illicit trade and transfer of conventional weapons especially Small Arms and Light Weapons across the regions of the world. She said such weapons are often used by non-state actors to wage war on innocent civilians and fuel conflicts.
According to a dispatch from New York, the Liberian Envoy made the Statements recently during the First Committee’s thematic debate on Conventional Weapons held at the United Nations Headquarters in
New York. The UN First Committee is a forum where disarmament and international security related issues are discussed before they are presented to the General Assembly for action. Ambassador Kamara emphasized that while the continuous call for the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction reflect a serious and legitimate priority among the non-nuclear weapons states, including Liberia, the devastating impact of poorly regulated trade in conventional weapons and their use to fuel conflicts across the regions of the world remains an equally serious threat to global peace, security and socio-economic development.
“The World now witnesses the unprecedented use of illicit small arms and other conventional weapons in conflict zones by terrorist groups, other non-state actors, and authoritarian regimes. Such uses wreak havoc on innocent civilians, especially the most vulnerable members of societies, including women and children. These practices are unacceptable and should not be condoned in the 21st century”.
Ambassador Kamara pointed out that Liberia welcomed the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty on December 24, 2014. And that as a State party to this landmark Treaty, Liberia is convinced that the ATT will help States in their efforts to curb the illicit trade in conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons. Adding, “The ultimate objective of such efforts as underlined in the Treaty, is to strengthen the legal regime of conventional arms trade, and thereby prevent the diversion of weapons to unauthorized recipients”
Speaking further, Ambassador Kamara informed the delegates that the Government of Liberia was working hard with partners to strengthen the capacity of its security and to increase patrol at border posts. She named the passage into law by the National Legislature, the Liberia Firearms and Ammunition Control Act of 2015 and the pilot project recently launched by the National Small Arms Commission of Liberia in counties as some of the measures aimed at recovering the illegal arms and to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to these weapons.
In this regard, Amb. Kamara said, Liberia supports full implementation of the United Nations Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Aspects(UNPoA). She said the Program of Action is a useful tool and a key multilateral framework for assisting States with stockpile management, marking and tracing of weapons and other goals, including those stated in the ATT.
“Indeed, the Program helps to fill the existing technical and capacity gaps that could otherwise pose serious challenges to the full implantation of the ATT and other small arms related measures. Towards this end, strengthening state and civil society partnerships and increasing international assistance would play a catalytic role towards ensuring success in addressing the global problem of illicit weapons”. Ambassador Kamara, emphasized.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Kamara has called on the UN and the donor community to lend support to the Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Lome, Togo. She said despite many challenges being faced by the Center, it continues to offer valuable assistance to Member States , especially in the areas of training and stockpile management, She said such support was necessary in order for the Center to fulfill its important mandate.
Written by: Abu Kamara
Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs
Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations