Liberia: LANSA to Legislature - Enact Arms Trade Treaty

The Liberia Action Network on Small Arms (LANSA) has urged the 54th Liberian Legislature to ratify the draft Act on arms trade treaty to domesticate the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the Act establishing the Small Arms Commission here.

The Executive Secretary of LANSA, T. Nicholas Faryombo, lauds President George Manneh Weah for forwarding the Act to the Legislature, which he notes demonstrates the President's commitment to arms control, peace and security in Liberia and the ECOWAS sub-region.

Speaking in an interview over the weekend, he said LANSA particularly appreciates President Weah for the bold step taken, noting that the draft Act seeks to expand the Commission's scope beyond small arms to all conventional arms.

He said the move is to domesticate the Arms Trade Treaty Act and to amend the Act establishing the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms which have over the years been scrutinized by national and international partners, security institutions, Civil Society actors, the media and other stakeholders following Liberia's ratification of the ATT in 2015.

Faryombo continued that LANSA, with support from its mother Coalition (Control Arms), partnered with the Small Arms Commission and held engagement meetings with the Legislature for the speedy passage of the draft instruments.

He said during the meeting, LANSA presented its perspective to the Legislature, something the Arms Advocacy CSO Group believes the Legislature can act on.

He also disclosed that during an inception meeting with the Chairman and Leadership of the Small Arms Commission on the Ready to Engage Project, the Commission was informed that it was important for a further engagement with the Legislature.

Mr. Faryombo, who headed the implementation of the project during the meeting, assured his institution's commitment to the relationship with LiNCSA and other partners in holding meetings with all stakeholders including the Legislature for passage of these instruments into law.

He noted that the two separate meetings held with the Legislative Committees on Security and Defense and, the Media and CSO were all intended to create awareness on the Arms Trade Treaty and stakeholders' compliance accordingly.

He said, the meetings renewed participants' commitments, including the Legislature to ensure the draft laws are fast-tracked for passage.

The LANSA Executive Secretary also noted that separate remarks during the engagement meetings indicated stakeholders' interest in Liberia's compliance with the international arms instrument.

He said earlier at the project inception meeting, the Chairman of the Small Arms Commission, Attorney Maxwell Grigsby, acknowledged the efforts and support of national and international partners in having the instruments, especially the approval by the President and now submission to the Legislature for enactment.

He pledged continual collaboration with all stakeholders in ensuring that these instruments are legally concluded.

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