Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms And Light Weapons by United Nations

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The struggle opposed to the proliferation of small hands and lightweight guns is among the key priorities at the peace and safeguard schedule of West African states. West African armed and safeguard forces have a big position to play during this struggle and this very important functionality can simply be fulfilled if and once they are legally, morally and professionally ready to do their activity. This guide defines a handy framework from which such education might be carried out.

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Additional info for Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms And Light Weapons in West Africa: Handbook for the Training of Armed And Security Forces

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Initiation of a dialogue or partnership with arms manufacturers or suppliers The idea is to stem the flow of illicit weapons: such partnerships are not of course intended to close down the arms trade, but simply to introduce, through cooperation, a little more transparency in the sale and movement of arms. The objective that ECOWAS has set for itself presupposes both "upstream" and "downstream" intervention, from the production and delivery of arms to their final use, from the international manufacturers to local owners and users.

There is a discipline which deals in particular with this topic: "humanitarian law". HUMAN RIGHTS The protection of human rights forms part of a long tradition, which is generally traced back to the origins of the revealed religions. Since man was "created in the image of Cod", displaying respect for man is considered by theologians in all religions as a means of respecting Cod's will, and hence a way of worshipping him. The theory of human rights was subsequently "secularized", so to speak-in other words, an explanation for the existence of these rights was no longer sought in religion or belief in God, but in pure human reason.

The general thrust of the Code of Conduct is to bind member states to reaffirm their commitment to the control of light weapons and the establishment of a culture of peace, to respect all aspects of the ban, and to adhere to the guidelines on the importation, exportation and manufacture of light weapons, parts and munitions. One important clause in the Code states that in order to acquire arms and munitions member states must submit a request to the ECOWAS secretariat. To this end the secretariat works with PCASED and maintains a dialogue with arms manufacturers and suppliers-the Wassenaar Croupin order to ensure that the requirements of the Code of Conduct are followed.

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