ECONOMIC COMMUNITY FOR WEST AFRICAN STATES
(ECOWAS) MORATORIUM ON SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS (SALW)
Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Denis
MacShane MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Thank you for the Explanatory Memorandum dated
16 November 2004 which Sub-Committee C considered at its meeting
on 17 November.
The Sub-Committee cleared the document but would
like to emphasise the importance of the issue of small arms and
light weapons control in the Western African states. It is right
that the EU should put more effort, and financing, into arms control
in this region.
However, the Sub-Committee is aware of the problems
the international community has experienced hitherto in trying
to translate the 1999 moratorium into action. We are concerned
that the EU should not release funding for a number of disparate
initiatives without proper co-ordination. Why, for example, is
this Council Decision's 500,000 going to be used for the
ECOWAS secretariat in Nigeria rather than the new ECOSAP unit
in Mali? The Sub-Committee thus strongly supports the government
in urging for a review of this decision in 6 months time to judge
whether the right funding has been put into the right project
at the right time". The Sub-Committee looks forward to seeing
the results of that review.
Furthermore, the Sub-Committee is aware that
ECOWAS maybe be requesting more substantial financing for capacity
building as a result of the donor conference on 22-23 November.
We hope the EU will consider the merits of financing SALW control
through the EDF, as per Article 11 of the Cotonou agreement, should
it receive a request for further help.
26 November 2004
Letter from Rt Hon Denis MacShane MP to
Thank you for your letter of 26 November that
sought assurances that the EU's contribution to the ECOWAS SALW
Moratorium included the need to co-ordinate its contribution with
other initiatives in the region. You further hoped that the EU
would consider further SALW funding through the-European Development
I agree with you on the vital need for close
co-operation on SALW projects within the region to avoid duplication
of effort and we are keen for some EU funding to be allocated
to the ECOWAS Small Arms Project (ECOSAP) Unit in Mali. We are
also asking for a feedback report on the CFSP funded project once
it has been set up and running for several months. We will of
course write further when this is produced.
We have been in consultation with the Commission
about this project and in addition to the recently approved EUR
515,000 we understand that the EDF is also providing a component
of EUR 1,450,000 for the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Project. The
Commission are consulting with ECOWAS Member States and UNDP/ECOSAP
in order to agree how this money can be best used taking into
account what the Commission and Member States have already decided.
Co-ordination is of vital importance and the Commission are aware
that the system of co-ordination needs to be re-evaluated. These
consultations are ongoing and we are liaising with the Commission
and the UNDP to keep abreast of developments.
13 January 2005