‘Liberia Supports Robust Arms Trade Treaty’: Deputy Foreign Minister Wayne
Addis Ababa, 22 May 2012 –At the head of the Liberian delegation at the African Regional Consultations on the Arms Trade Treaty, Hon. Sando Wayne has reiterated Liberia’s support for the establishment of a continentally-viable treaty which will curtail the spread of illegally weapons across the African sub-region.Making an intervention during the plenary discussions by the delegates attending the conference in preparation for the July Diplomatic Conference aimed at negotiating a treaty, the Deputy Minister for International Cooperation and Economic Integration at Liberia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Liberia was in agreement with several African countries calling for a robust treaty with universal applicability which will halt the rapid proliferation of illegal weapons used to fuel violent crimes and conflicts, inflicting immeasurable sufferings on innocent people, and placing unnecessary burdens on the capacity of states to respond.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Deputy Minister Wayne pointed out that African nations would be better served by utilizing for development purposes instead of the rehabilitation of victims of armed conflicts and the direct consequences of small arms. Hon. Wayne noted that at a time of economic difficulties, Liberia must utilize scare resources and support from international partners to create jobs for its teeming youth population, rehabilitate its social infrastructure, develop capacity, and grow its economy.
According to the Deputy Minister, all of these objectives are inextricably linked to stability, which are often hampered by the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons. He reiterated Liberia’s duty as a responsible member of the international community to support the enactment of a “balanced, universal and a fair treaty, one that will address the security concerns all of nations”
According to the release, the Deputy Minister for International Cooperation expressed views buttressed by several African delegates. Minister Wayne urged those with descanting opinions to support the treaty given what he described as its centrality to promoting regional and international stability. He said that Liberia’s position was informed by its own experience of more than 14 years of conflict in the country and the negative consequences resulting from the use of these illegal weapons
The two-day seminar held in Addis Ababa is expected to provide African leaders and experts the opportunity to deliberate on the way forward for a common African position during final negotiations on small arms scheduled to convene in New York in July this year.
The United Nations Resolution 63/240 called for the establishment of common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.