The West African Action Network on Small Arms held a two-day workshop in Accra, 12th and 13th December 2011, to develop a Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Strategy to support the implementation of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons and the 2012 UN Negotiations Conference on an Arms Trade Treaty.

The objective of the workshop was to:
1.    Align CSO activities with the ECOWAS Five Year Strategic plan
2.    Find Ways and means to Lobby the ECOWAS Member States to begin to implement the Convention on Small Arms by pursuing among others:
•    The harmonization of national legislation to the Convention,
•    Facilitation of NatComs by Governments to meet their obligations
•    Members States to actively promote the African Union Common ATT Position by active lobbying at the national level.
•    Use the outcome document to mobilize resources for the identified activities.
•    Indentify ways of addressing capacity needs of WAANSA at regional and national levels to enable it deliver on its obligations.
The workshop was attended by the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, WAANSA members across West Africa and supported by RECSA through a European Union funding. Lt. Col. Seth Ohene-Asare (Rtd.), Chairman of the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons opened the workshop and the meeting was facilitated by Mr. Baffour Dokyi Amoa, the President of the West Africa Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA).

The workshop produced four projects as its outcome. They are :
1-    Achieving total ratification of the ECOWAS Convention
2-     WAANSA to escalate advocacy on several issues
3-    WAANSA to focus more on CSO priority areas :
a.    Conduct sensitization and create public awareness on SALW issues
b.    Lobby for proper control of locally manufactured SALW
c.    Build partnership and mobilize resources
d.    Promote monitoring and evaluation of CSO actions
e.    Build or strengthen capacity of CSOs
f.    Promote ECOWAS Guide for the Harmonization of National SALW Legislations in West Africa
g.    Support border control actions
h.    Advocate effective stockpile management
4-    Campaign for government financial support to National Commissions.

Copyright WAANSA 2009.