Ambassador Gberie To Strengthen Efforts To Eradicate Illicit Global Arms Trade.
Sierra Leone's Ambassador to Switzerland and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations, Dr Lansana Gberie, on Wednesday 7 December 2020 reiterated Sierra Leone's commitment as a member of the Arms Trade Treaty Expert Group on eradicating the illicit small arms trade and ensuring efficient stockpile management at the third virtual Arms Trade Treaty Expert Group meeting in Geneva Switzerland.
The ATT is an international treaty that regulates the international trade in conventional arms that seeks to prevent and eradicate illicit trade and diversion of conventional arms by establishing international standards in governing arms transfers.
Sierra Leone ratified the Arms Trade Treaty on 12 August 2014, as the 43rd UN Member State and 4th African Country to join. In 2017, Sierra Leone began the process of identifying gaps in its legislation relating to arms, stockpile management including oversight, to bring it in conformity with the ATT, the world's leading disarmament treaty.
The President of the 7th Conference of States Parties of the Arms Trade Treaty, Dr Lansana Gberie, said illicit transfers and diversions from official stockpiles have become major issues in conventional arms regulation in many countries in Africa and elsewhere. Adding that the Virtual Expert Group meeting would support the overall context of the ATT to enhance States' stockpile management and disposal programs especially in respect of SALW and their ammunition.
"As the 7th President of the ATT CSP, my intention is to strengthen efforts to eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and ensure efficient stockpile management. The objective is reflected in the ATT resolution A/C.1/75/L.53, and recently it was adopted by the 7th session of the UN General Assembly First Committee," Ambassador Gberie noted.
The ATT President noted that the need to address inadequate Physical Stockpile Security Management (PSSM), will help prevent "weapons legally acquired by States being used by forces that were not meant for".
"These discussions will take into account a number of existing PSSM initiatives that are being undertaken at national, regional and international levels, under the umbrella of the UN Programme of Action on SALW," Ambassador Gberie concluded.
The third virtual meeting of the ATT Expert Group provides an opportunity for the President to elaborate on his thoughts to strengthen efforts to eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and ensure efficient stockpile management.
In the past two years, His Excellency, Dr Julius Maada Bio, has been promoting global peace and security and sustaining Sierra Leone's democracy.
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