Topic: Arms Trade Treaty
Country: The delegate of Uganda
Delegate: (Name), Burlington Danes Academy
Uganda fully supports the Arms Trade Treaty as Uganda has been vastly affected by the illegal trading of arms which occurs particularly in the northern areas of the country and is a key contributory factor to violence and conflict. Uganda feels that small arms and light weapons should also be treated as a serious threat to the safety and security of its citizens, as such have to be included in the ATT for it to be effective. SALW are used within conflicts within the country and the most significant challenge that Uganda faces in relation to controlling international transfers of SALW is the countering illicit trafficking through its porous borders.
Due to mass trading of arms, rebel groups have been enforced within the country. Lord’s Resistance Army(LRA) has rampaged across Uganda abducting and killing tens of thousands of citizens as well as displacing more than 1.5 million. Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA, has massacred villages and abducted boys for use as child soldiers while girls are forced into sexual slavery. The notorious group has spread through Uganda and headed for Congo with highly armed soldiers as well as child soldiers. The arms trade has affected Uganda and neighbouring countries highly as the LRA are holding illegal arms to use against civilians and the government; abusing human rights hugely. Also, in 2006 the UK had sold military vehicles to Uganda which were supposedly used to 'quell the opposition. 32 vehicles had been sold by the UK since 2002. During an opposition rally 3 people had been reported dead as a result of the military vehicles sold. The UK government had failed its promises to secure an international arms trade treaty which would close trading with countries with poor human rights records. Whereas the Ugandan government does not support this and we have and are taking measures to combat their influence. Uganda is part of the EAC which bring Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda together to cooperate and discuss decisions made in East Africa. Ahmed Wafuba, the coordinator of Uganda’s National Focal Point (NFP) on Small Arms, says that the Arms Trade Treaty will enhance efforts aimed at ridding the region of illegal firearms that have led to loss of innocent lives. “The issue of conventional arms and small arms plus the ammunitions should be regulated,” he said, adding that Uganda had so far destroyed 97,000pieces of assault and firearms over a period of three years. Many governments have voiced concern about the absence of globally agreed rules to guide their decisions on arms transfers.
In the past Uganda has taken matters of SALW seriously by signing the Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention,C ontrol and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States on 21st April 2004 which goes to sufficient measures to control SALW both state-owned and in civilian possession. The development of the Best Practice Guidelines for the Implementation of the Nairobi Declaration and the Nairobi Protocol on SALW focuses on import, export and transfer. However, Uganda have yet to enhance border security personnel, address the conflict, instability and underdevelopment in northern Uganda a sthe LRA continue to cause chaos and to strengthen controls on imports of SALW through fortifying transit controls. Uganda feels the UN should focus on the arms MEDCs trade to LEDCs as the arms could be misused in countries like Uganda as the tolerance for human rights is low. Along with targeting the weak borders of Uganda and neighbouring countries as other countries may take advantage of Uganda’s vulnerability and low economy to build their own from rebel groups like the LRA.
Uganda recommend the UN should limit the amount of arms a country acquires so a country has enough to defend themselves, but not enough to illegally