THE SECOND TECHNICAL LEVEL WORKSHOP ON THE ARMS TRADE TREATY (ATT) 20-21 JULY 2016, VOLTA SERENE HOT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP 

  1. The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons in collaboration with the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) organized the Second Technical Level Workshop on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Implementation in Ghana at Volta Serene Hotel in Ho on 20-21 July 2016. The meeting was held within the framework of the EU-ATT Outreach project and funded by the European Union.
  2. In line with the roadmap  developed  in  close  cooperation  with  EU-ATT Experts and based on the outcomes of the first event in January,  this  second  roadmap  activity  focused  on  Ghana’s  licensing  regime  and practical  implications  of  implementing  the  ATT  for  existing  structures, case  studies,  the  role the various agencies plays  in    Ghana’s arms transfer  control  system,  necessary  documentation, legal  aspects and risk assessment criteria were   discussed during the workshop.
  3. The workshop was used as the platform for the International Experts invited by BAFA to share their national practice and highlight relevant ATT provisions and how they ought to be incorporated into Ghana’s domestic legislation and practices.

PARTICIPATION

  1. The workshop was attended by representatives from the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana Police Service, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Armed Forces, Bureau of National Investigations, the Attorney General’s Department, Minerals Commission, Ghana Immigration Service and the International Action Network on Small Arms.

OPENING SESSION

  1. The workshop was opened by Mr. Jones Applerh who delivered a statement on behalf of the Commission. His statement highlighted the importance of global regulation of arms trade as a strategy to prevent diversion of weapons. He recalled Ghana’s commitment to implementing the Arms Trade Treaty which was exhibited by ratifying the ATT. He noted the wish of the Commission to ensure Ghana becomes a model country for the ATT implementation in Africa.
  2. In the statement delivered by Mr. Marvin Diefenbach, Project Manager Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, he thanked the Commission for the warm reception accorded the team of Experts from the EU and reiterated BAFA’s delight at the partnership with Ghana. He informed the meeting that Ghana is most likely to be enlisted into the second road-map activity which will commence in February 2017.
  3. Finally in a statement by Mr. Baffour Dokyi Amoah, Chairman of I.A.N.S.A., he welcomed the convening of the workshop and stressed on the need for effective collaboration between government and civil society which is a major partner in the success of the ATT implementation in the world including Ghana.

DELIBERATIONS

Presentation on the update on the ATT implementation in Ghana

Speaker: Mr. Leonard Tettey the Schedule Officer for the ATT at the Ghana National Commission on Small arms and Light Weapons.

  1. His presentation updated participants on the progress made so far in the ATT implementation in Ghana. It was noted in the presentation that Ghana became a full State Party to the ATT on the 22nd of March 2016  hence will be required to use the provisions of the ATT in any transfer of conventional arms. The presentation further informed the meeting that a Memo had been prepared for approval by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana on key decisions that Ghana was required to make in the implementation of the ATT. These decisions included the Authority to sign the End User Certificate, the Competent National Authority(s), and the National Focal Agency. Also the presentation touched on the formation of the technical committee to finalize the drafting of the Ghana National Control List.

Presentation on Licensing Systems for Export/Import/Transit/Brokering

Speaker: Mr Nauris Rumpe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Latvia

  1. The presentation illustrated the Licensing systems in EU member states, its basic structures and components. Subsequently participants discussed how these international standards can be adapted and modified in order to meet the needs of Ghana. A case Study to facilitate the theoretical approach to the topic was conducted.

Presentation on Record Keeping and Reporting

Speaker: Ms Mariann Mezey, Chief Counsellor, Trade Licensing Office, Authority of Defence Industry and Export Control, Department of Defence Industry and Military Foreign Trade, Hungary

  1. She indicated that as an ATT state party, Ghana is obliged to fulfil the ATT reporting requirements by submitting an Initial Report and an Annual Report. The presentation informed participants of the basic reporting requirements of the ATT. The presentation provided information on which activities have to be reported as well as the distribution on responsibilities and suggestions on how the information can be gathered.

Presentation on Risk Assessment/Risk Management

Speaker: Ms Elizabeth Kirkham, Advisor for Small Arms & Transfer Controls, Saferworld, United Kingdom

  1. The presentation in this particular session looked into risk assessment and management issues and how to build a robust system to tackle diversion. Updates on the latest tools and the use of open source information for risk analysis as well as cooperation and collaboration with other agencies were the focus of this session.

Presentation on Enforcement Cooperation/ Combating Illicit Trade and Diversion

Mr Martin Drew, Freelance ATT Consultant, United Kingdom Diversion:

  1. His presentation focused on the identification of illicit activities (challenges, solutions, and strategies), interception of these and coordination of enforcement agencies. Participants discussed measures to tackle diversion especially with a view to check illicit trade in Ghana. Issues discussed included inter-agency cooperation, regional and international cooperation, exchange of information of red flags for illicit trade etc.

RECOMMENDATIONS

At the end of the workshop the following were recommended;

  1. The composition of the Technical Committee to draft the National Control List for Ghana should be expanded to include key technical personalities from all relevant agencies
  2. Ghana should adopt the WASSENAR Arrangement Control list in its entirety and  amend and add to suit Ghana’s peculiar needs.
  3. To ensure effective implementation of the ATT, the Small Arms Commission should request the various implementing agencies to nominate a focal person to coordinate that agency’s role in the ATT implementation.
  4. The need to ensure that all agencies provide the information needed for reporting to the Commission in good time to enable to Commission submit Ghana’s report to the ATT Secretariat before the deadline.
  5. Third Technical Level Workshop to be held in September 2016 at Ho for Technical persons in the implementing agencies.