Liberia, in concert with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union (AU), will support the regulation of arms sale to legitimate states worldwide, said the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation and Economic Integration, Sando Wayne ahead of the Arms Trade Treaty conference beginning next Monday in the United States.
"Liberia, ECOWAS and AU support the convention that will regulate the sale of arms worldwide to legitimate government or country," Wayne told the media Wednesday in Monrovia. The one-time political activist here in the 1980s believed that the country cannot move forward if it stayed outside of the conference that would regulate the sale of arms.
"Liberia's support is not only transferring from manufacturers to end-users, but must be domesticated (enforcement). Therefore, we are asking the media to help us disseminate information on the process to our people," Wayne pleaded. He said that African nations have adopted common position for the control of arms sale which has caused so many suffering to the people on the continent.
"The New York conference is going to be tough between rich and poor countries. Manufacturers verses end-users. There will be intense lobbying because envelopes will exchange hands," he believed.
Wayne, a founding member of the University of Liberia campus-based Student Integration Movement (SIM) in 1986, indicated that the treaty is not to ban arms sale, but to regulate it.
"What we are saying is that, sell arms, but do it with legitimate governments or countries. Liberia has no option, but to support the treaty," he noted. Since 2006, the United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly recognized that the absence of common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms contributes to armed conflicts.
As a result, this has cause displacement of people, crimes and terrorism, which, in turn, undermines peace, reconciliation, safety, security, stability and sustainable social economic development.
Some of the weapons reported to have been regulated by International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and treaties of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) are Explosive projectiles weighting less than 400 grams and bullets that expand or flatten in the human body. Others are poison and poisoned-weapons and chemical weapons.