Ghana backs proposed UN treaty on weapons trade

President John Atta Mills of Ghana

23 September 2011 – Ghana today called for a legally-binding United Nations treaty on arms trade that would help stem the flow of arms to destinations where they could fuel conflict or undermine national and regional peace.

“For developing countries such as Ghana, the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons and other conventional weaponry continues to pose a threat our national security and socio-economic and political stability,” said President John Atta Mills told the General Assembly.

The remaining meetings of the Preparatory Committee for the UN United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) should come up with proposals on the draft treaty that would close loopholes that allowed conventional weapons to flow from legitimate to illicit markets.

The preparatory committee was created after the General Assembly in 2006 requested the Secretary-General to establish a group of governmental experts to look into “the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for a comprehensive, legally binding instrument establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.”

Mr. Mills said Ghana will continue to contribute personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, but urged donor countries to ensure that troop contributing countries received the financial support needed in a timely manner.

Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba, for his part, criticized the foreign military intervention in Libya, saying democratic change should be “locally driven” and not used to undermine the sovereignty of a State.

“The military intervention by foreign powers reminds Africa of the infamous Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, when Africa was carved up by imperial powers,” he said.


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