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President Bio Hosts ECOWAS Conference: Sierra Leone's Key Role In Addressing Autonomous Weapons Systems

President Bio Hosts ECOWAS Conference: Sierra Leone's Key Role In Addressing Autonomous Weapons Systems

 Geneva, Switzerland, Monday 8 April 2024 - Sierra Leone, under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio, is gearing up to host a ground-breaking ECOWAS Conference on the Peace and Security Aspect of Autonomous Weapons Systems. Scheduled to take place in Freetown from April 17th and 18th, 2024, this conference, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL), primarily aims to establish a common regional position and develop a unified stance on regulating and controlling Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS) within the ECOWAS region.

The conference is expected to draw Foreign Ministers, technical experts, civil society representatives, and observers from across West Africa. Sierra Leone's role as host underscores its growing prominence on the international stage and its commitment to advancing peace and security in the subregion.

Sierra Leone's exemplary track record as one of the most peaceful and democratic states in the sub-region positions it as a beacon of stability and resilience. As such, the insights gleaned from this conference will inform policymakers on the challenges posed by the proliferation and unregulated use of Autonomous Weapons, particularly within the ECOWAS context.

In addition to its diplomatic significance, the conference holds economic promise for Sierra Leone. With over 100 delegates expected to attend, the influx of visitors will have positive implications for revenue generation, particularly for the hotel and the travel industries. This economic injection is poised to contribute to job creation bolstering the country's socio-economic landscape. It aligning with President Bio's vision for youth empowerment and economic development.

The agenda of the conference includes critical issues such as the ethical implications of AWS, adherence to international human rights standards, and the examination of AWS's impact on international humanitarian law.

The Conference will serve as a platform for open dialogue and collaboration among ECOWAS Member States, paving the way for collective action in addressing the challenges posed by AWS. In the lead-up to the conference, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, alongside CARL, will hold a press briefing to highlight the significance of the event and its potential impact on Sierra Leone and the broader ECOWAS region. Sierra Leone's role as host of this ECOWAS Conference underscores its commitment to peace, security, and international cooperation.

By convening key stakeholders to address the pressing issue of Autonomous Weapons Systems, Sierra Leone reaffirms its position as a regional leader and a staunch advocate for global security and stability.

*For More Enquiries:

Mohamed Sheriff

Information Attaché, Geneva Switzerland


Email: m.sheriff@slmge.ch*