Between 23-27 June, 2019, at the Arab League building in Cairo, Egypt, the European Union (EU) and League of Arab States (LAS) co-hosted the Conference on Combating the Illicit Trade in and Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Member States of the League of Arab States.
The five day conference was the opening event of a joint EU / LAS project which will provide training and technical support to countries in the Middle East and North Africa surrounding all aspects of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) control. The WCO will deliver training related to the detection of weapons at the border for Customs Administrations, alongside training offered by other International institutions in other areas of firearms control over the two year life span of the project.
Delegates saw presentations and discussion from the World Customs Organization, Interpol and the Small Arms Survey highlighting the technical support and training that can be offered as a result of the project. Member states now have the opportunity to request technical assistance covered by EU funding from these stakeholders.
In their opening remarks to the conference, both Ambassador Khaled Al Habbas, Assistant Secretary General for International Political Affairs for the League of Arab States, and Ambassador Ivan Surkos, the EU Head of Delegation in Cairo, stressed the importance of robust SALW control to promote stability, economic growth and safety throughout the region.