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NEWS

Chemical Weapons Convention Commence in Sierra Leone’s Capital
Posted by Santigie Kamara on May 15, 2011, 03:11

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPEW) last Thursday organized a national awareness workshop for senior decision and policy makers and stakeholders of the National Authority of Sierra Leone on the National Implementation of the Chemical Weapon Convention at the Presidential Lounge of the National Stadium in Freetown

 

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion Dr. Ronnie Frazer Williams spoke about the essence of the workshop and noted that Sierra Leone is a member of the convention. Dr. Ronnie Frazer Williams maintained that the Act was drafted in 2008 in Sierra Leone, adding that the workshop will provide an opportunity to refine the bill because the country has started benefiting from the convention immensely.

 

In his welcome address the Director of International Organizations Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr. Alusine Sesay spoke about the significance of the workshop stating that it will be a huge benefit to other nations.

 

Mr. Alusine Sesay informed the gathering that the process of implementing a convention is long, tedious but systematic which he said requires the collaboration of various partners with different expertise of ten both local and foreign nationals. He revealed that the two-day national sensitization workshop was as a result of   significant effort to bring Sierra Leone on board with the rest of the International Community to judiciously regulate the manufacturing, movement and use of chemicals.

 

He however made it clear that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the focal point ministry in hosting the National Authority of Sierra Leone for the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Mr. Joseph G. Kobba, Principal State Counsel of the Law Officers Department spoke about the role of the law office towards the successful conduct of the workshop and assured the gathering of their support.

 

The Deputy Minister of Justice Lawyer Arrow Bockarie who formally launched the workshop explained that Sierra Leone is a signatory to the Chemical Weapon Convention and described the workshop as a step in the right direction.

 

He maintained that in order to fulfill the country’s obligation under the Chemical Weapon Convention, especially article VII, a provisional National Authority was established for Sierra Leone to serve as a National “Signing the Chemical Weapon Convention, Sierra Leone like all other state actors fully recognized the threat that the arbitrary manufacture of chemical weapons is posing to world peace” He said emphatically

 

Sierra Leone has started the process of domesticating the CWC, which has culminated in the visit of a technical assistance team for the purpose of assisting Sierra Leone’s Interim National Authority in the implementation of the CWC to advise on  work, functions and procedures of the National Authority and to work on the draft National Legislation for the implementation of the Convention”, the Deputy Minister of Justice, added, and went on to sate that the workshop will benefit participants immensely




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