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Defense Minister Tables Ratification Of Arms Trade Treaty Agreement Before NAMs

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Serigne Modou Njie, the Minister of Defense.

By Ramatoulie Jawo

The Hon. Minister of Defense, Serigne Modou Njie, on Monday, tabled a motion for the consideration and ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty Agreement before the National Assembly Members (NAMs).

The Defense Minister rose to table the Arms Trade Treaty Agreement before the lawmakers, stating that he was doing so in order to join the global efforts to control the illegal proliferation of conventional arms.

Hon. Njie said that the ultimate objective of the Treaty is to contribute to the preservation of a peaceful, secure world where everyone can live safely and pursue their happiness.

“Preventing vaguely arms from falling into the hands of unscrupulous elements who will not hesitate to use them to unleash carnage to maximize mysterious intention is a national security priority,” he said.

The Defense Minister further stated that the Arms Trade Treaty is an international legal instrument that establishes a common standard for regulating the trade in conventional arms to prevent illicit arms transfer diversion and transshipment.

“The Treaty also is intended to enhance the accountability and transparency of the state engagement in sales and transfer of conventional Arms honorable speaker the objective of the arms Trade Treaty is to establish a common standard for regulating of Trade of conventional arms control of illegal diversion transfer and transshipment and to contribute to the reduction of human suffering in a conflict riddle environment caused by the proliferation of conventional arms,” he said.

The Defense Minister said Gambia has since participated in the 8 and 9 state parties to the Arms Trade Treaty held in Geneva, Switzerland as an observer.

“This exposure provided my Ministry with a unique opportunity to understand the Treaty and share experiences on effective Treaty implementation and best practices with countries that have already ratified the Treaty. Honorable Speaker, my Ministry, in consultation with stakeholders, has since 2021 mobilized a force to facilitate the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty. The Gambia is the only country in the sub-region that is yet to ratify the Treaty,” he revealed.

Hon. Njie said ratification of the Treaty is consistent with the letter and spirit of the ECOWAS convention on small arms and large weapons.

“Honorable Speaker, the Treaty is neither a Disarmament Treaty nor does it attempt to limit the rights of countries to produce trade or stockpile for the purpose of legitimate trade and self-defense merrily operates as a mechanism to prevent the arms from falling into the hand of unscrupulous end users who will only use them to maximize mischievous intention,” he emphasized.

The motion was seconded by Hon. Billay G. Tunkara, the NAM for Kantora Constituency, who gave his blessing to the motion. While encouraging his fellow NAMs to give their support to the motion.

Hon. Fatou Cham, the NAM for Sanne Mentereng Constituency, raised a motion for the debate to be adjourned to a further day because most of the NAMs received the document on Monday.

The motion was seconded by the NAM for Bakau Constituency, which led to the adjournment of the debate to a later date.

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