Ghana to host regional conference on tackling indiscriminate weapons 

By Francis Ntow 

Accra, Feb 12, GNA – Ghana through the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NACSA) will host a three-day regional conference on combating the indiscriminate use of weapons and its humanitarian impact.  

The conference, scheduled for 13 to 15 February, in Accra, Ghana, would be held in partnership with the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel mines. 

The Commission said hosting the conference demonstrated Ghana’s commitment to promoting diplomacy, cooperation and decisive action in mitigating the impact of the proliferation. 

The Conference would be a platform for discussions on best practices and lessons learned within the framework of the Convention in addressing the devastating humanitarian impact of improvised weapons in West Africa and the Sahel Region. 

The Convention is the international community’s comprehensive response to the humanitarian impact caused by anti-personnel mines which are indiscriminate weapons that remain dangerous for decades after conflicts have ended. 

The high-level Conference would also provide a unique opportunity to assess progress and contribute to the development of a new action plan for the period 2025-2029. 

It would be attended by representatives from States Parties to the Convention in West Africa and the Sahel Region, as well as leading UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and experts working in mine action. 

The event is made possible through a global project sponsored by the Council of the European Union (EU) to support the implementation of the Convention. 

This effort is underpinned by the European Union Council’s Decision (2021/257), which supports dialogue and actions that could contribute to establishing sustainable national capacities to address previously unknown mined areas. 

The actions are also aimed at increasing regular dialogue with stakeholders and exploring opportunities for cooperation (international, regional, triangular, and south-south) to address related challenges.  

In 2019, the Convention took a significant step by adopting the Oslo Declaration on a Mine-Free World. 

While recognising achievements, the Declaration highlighted the increasing threat posed by anti-personnel mines, including the use of improvised ones by armed non-state actors, and their impact on human life and sustainable development.  

It, therefore, endorsed actions, including regular stakeholder engagements, like this year’s three-day conference in Ghana, to help combat the indiscriminate use of weapons and its humanitarian impact.