The East African Community (EAC), Deputy Secretary General in charge of political federation, Dr Julius Rotich has declared that the EAC region would like to see an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that would address problems associated with unregulated transfers of arms.
‘The EAC would like to see an ATT that will address problems associated with unregulated transfers of conventional arms in all its manifestations, with sufficient safeguards guaranteeing respect to sovereignty, territorial integrity and legitimate access to related technology,’’ he told a major arms conference this week.
He made the statement at high level meeting of officials of the United Nations Conference on Arms Trade in New York, where he explained that the region has over the years experienced and continues to experience the devastating consequences of unregulated arms transfers of which should be controlled by law, finally.
‘The region is not arms producing yet it remains awash with arms. The nexus between easy availability of arms, terrorism and piracy continue to manifest itself in the region and this remains of primary concern to the region’s peace and security,’’ he told the meeting.
Easy availability of arms has facilitated among others displacement of populations, widespread human rights abuses and undermining legitimate governments.
‘’The inextricable link between unregistered arms transfers, human rights and humanitarian issues should thus be at the core of Treaty objectives drawing from our regional experience,’’ he emphasized.
Dr Rotich sounded optimistic in affirming that the instrument (ATT) will radically alter the manner in which arms, as the major insecurity component, could be managed to enhance global security, stability and development.
EAC member countries are unanimous for an ATT that includes all arms in the UN Conventional arms register along with small arms and light weapons (SALW) and ammunitions.
The conference which started on July 2 stretches to July 27.