By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah
Small Arms proliferation and Terrorist Financing top the agenda as critical stakeholders of ECOWAS Member-states converge on Abuja on 7th December, 2017.
This is coming against the background that terrorism-related violence, illegal proliferation of small Arms and light weapons have continued to assume a most dangerous dimension and a nightmarish proportion across the sub-region. This narrative is reinforced by this scenario: From Liberia and Sierra Leon in the 1990s, and in recent years, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria, it has been regional violence and conflict and the sad stories of sorrows, tears and blood.
As the issue of terrorism, insurgency, small arms and conflict in the sub-region take center-stage during this Parliamentary Conference, it justifies the compelling imperative on the 15-member states to articulate legislative actions to contain illegal proliferation of small arms and light weapons and terrorist financing.
In a statement by the Communication Adviser NILS,Nwajei Kanayo C.,the Parliamentary Conference is expected to bring about the harmonization of policies and laws, strengthen regulatory frameworks and legislations, leading to considerable reduction of cross boarder crimes and terrorism.
The dialogue session and regional campaign on the prevalence of small arms and terrorist financing within the sub-region, will be declared open by His Excellency, Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, House of Representatives and Chaired by His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and Head of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) along with His Excellency Hon. Moustapha Cise’Lo, Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament..
The well over 200 participants are drawn from the ECOWAS Parliament, Select-members of Security related Committees of some National Parliaments of ECOWAS Member-states, Critical Stakeholders in regional security, economy and Parliamentary activities, the Inter-governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nigeria, members of the Diplomatic Corps, CSOs.
The Conference which is organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies, (NILS) under the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) funded capacity building project, NILS Cap 2, in collaboration with ECOWAS Parliament and Nigeria’s Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is expected to re-inforce regional integration of ECOWAS as ECOWAS of peoples across the Anglophone, Lusophone and Francophone countries.
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