General News Mon, 21 Jul 2008

ECOWAS seeks greater collaboration with the UN

Accra, July 21, GNA - The Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean de Dieu Somda, has called on United Nations (UN) for increased support by funding partners for the development initiative being embarked upon by the Commission. He expressed concern about the crisis that has faced many countries

in the sub-region and identified the proliferation of small arms as a contributing factor to the crisis and noted that ECOWAS response was the adoption of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons. Speaking to top officials of the United Nations including, the High Representative, Office of Disarmament Affairs, Mr. Sergio Duarte and the

Deputy Assistant Administrator and Senior Deputy Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Reovery, Mr Somda said the ECOWAS Commission had made great strides in its effort to improve the quality of life of the people through integration. He appealed for international support for the Commission to ensure ratification of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons to

build a strong lobbying programme for ratification and for implementation. In his response, Mr. Sergio Duarte congratulated ECOWAS Commission on the great work it is doing, especially in the area of small arms and stated that his office would continue to support the Commission. In this direction, Mr. Duarte revealed that its Lome Centre is currently being strengthened to give technical support to all the regional groupings in Africa; a new capable and committed director was recently appointed for the centre. The ECOWAS Commission Vice President gave a copy of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons to NATCOMs chairmen and expressed worry at the slow pace of work. This, they attributed to the fact that due to lack of budgetary provision, many of their offices are not functional. They then requested more advocacy visits by ECOWAS Commission officials as a way to improve the situation.

Source: GNA