By Omar Bah
The United Nations resident coordinator in The Gambia, Seraphine Wakana has complimented The Gambia Government for its strong commitment toward promoting global peace.
“We are glad that The Gambia has no issues with weapons of mass destruction. The government has vehemently shown its lack of interest in doing anything that can jeopardise world peace,” Ms Wakana said at a regional workshop to promote role of women parliamentarians in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Madam Wakana said the UN is at the forefront of sustaining peace.
“However, it is disheartening to know that despite the UN’s effort and goodwill of millions of people around the world, we as the human family have not succeeded in getting rid of weapons of destruction since the first nuclear bomb was dropped in the closing stages of World War II. As we speak, seven countries are confirmed to have weapons of mass destruction while others are suspected of intending to acquire them,” she explained.
The UN rep said the best and safest option is to get rid of them completely, saying the dangers of weapons of mass destruction are so apparent that “we need to dwell on what the world can do to disarm them. In so doing, women must continue to play their role in peace-building at home in the society”.
“As lawmakers, both men and women have huge responsibility in peace-building but the burden on women is more pronounce because women are the biggest losers in wars…” she asserted.
Momodou Sanneh, deputy speaker of the National Assembly said the problems of weapons of mass destruction are grave and should be looked into with urgency.
The National Assembly Member for Fulladu West, Sanna Jawara, said parliamentarians at a global level can play “a very critical role in the fight against weapons of mass destruction” saying with women constituting more than 50% of the continent’s population, they have a big role to play in promoting peace”.
The British High Commissioner, Sharon Wardle said in Africa “there are already women out there who are in position to play a pivotal role in preventing global proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
“I also believe as parliamentarians you are the representatives of your countries and what you say reflects the views of your people. So your role and influence cannot be underestimated.”
The workshop was organised by the Parliamentarians for Global Action and UN Office for Disarmament Affairs in partnerships with The Gambia National Assembly.