Liberia to Host NATCOMs Meeting for the First Time


The Liberian Government through the Liberian National Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA) will for the first time host the ECOWAS National Commission on Small Arms (NATCOM) annual meeting in Liberia.

The Conference which is scheduled to take place on 26-27 November, 2019 at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, is geared towards reviewing recommendations of the Niamey Technical Review meeting of the 10th Anniversary of ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) held this year in Niger, and to discuss implementation priorities for 2020 to 2030, as well as ensure networking for partnership and resource mobilization in the fight against SALW.

West African Small Arms Experts along with their development partners attending the meeting will also look in the direction of substantive revision of progress, lessons learned and challenges of implementing the ECOWAS Convention in the last ten years.

This year NATCOM Meeting is being sponsored by ECOWAS with support from the Government of Germany through the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), and will bring together Heads and Permanent Secretaries of National Small Arms Commissions in the 15 ECOWAS Member States. Also expected at the meeting are a number of development partners including the European Union, UNDP, Small Arms Survey, UNIDIR, GIZ, MAG among others.  

The President of Liberia, His Excellency, Dr. George Manneh Weah who is expected to grace the occasion will deliver the keynote address at the meeting. Key government ministries and agencies especially from the security sector have been invited for the official opening program.

 

 

It can be recalled that in 1998 the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the sub-region declared a Moratorium on the importation, exportation and manufacture of arms and ammunition as the first practical action by ECOWAS to galvanize regional platform for tackling the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. The regional body also in 2006 adopted the Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and Other Related Materials.

ECOWAS Member States consider the proliferation of small arms and light weapons to constitute a major threat to peace and stability within the region. More importantly, ECOWAS is deeply concern at the flow of small arms and light weapons into West Africa and strongly recognize the need to control arms transfers, and to ensure the need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacture, excessive accumulation, trafficking, detention and use of small arms and light weapons.

The convergence of West African Leaders on arms control in Liberia signifies the country’s preparedness and commitment to fight against all forms of illicit arms trade in the African Region. The NATCOM meeting will also boost ongoing efforts in the consolidation of peace and stability in Liberia.