The national parliament has ratified a law prohibiting the proliferation of dangerous weapons. It is referred to as the “Convention on Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacterial and Toxin Weapons.”
The Chairperson of the Specialized Committee on Defence and Veteran Affairs, and the head of the governance cluster, Michael Ayuen Johnson, presented the convention to the August House last week.
“In accordance with Article 57 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011, as amended, read together with Regulation No. 40 of the Revitalised Transitional National Legislative Assembly Conduct of Business Regulations 2022 (Amended 2021),” Ayuen read the convention.
The standing specialised committee on defence and veteran affairs, national security, and public order came up with some recommendations and observations.
The committees observed that South Sudan is one of the three East African countries that have not ratified the convention.
“It’s worth noting that the convention brings with it advantages that include, enhancing the security of the nation and the region from the proliferation of harmful weapons,” he said.
“The country may benefit from assistance if exposed to any danger because of a violation of the convention,” Ayuen said.
The committees have requested and recommended that the convention be ratified by the August House, as well as that they begin educating citizens and raising awareness about the ongoing dangers of conventional and light weapons, and that it be ratified.
The speaker of the national legislature, Jemma Nunu Kumba, opened the floor for debate and called for views on the treaty.
A member of the parliament, Gabriel Guot Guot, said that before ratifying the convention, the parliament has to know what the content is all about.
“The first thing to do is to domesticate the convention so that you effect and implement the provisions in that convention, and this should have appeared,” Guot said.
He emphasised that the committee should have been able to predict the challenges that South Sudan would face, noting that countries typically have a long period of time to submit their incisional reports.
“For example, what time is given to South Sudan for the initial report and what is the duration of the theoretical report? These are the issues that are supposed to be marked by the committees,” he said.
The speaker, however, stated that the implementation of the treaty is not the responsibility of the parliament, but rather of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
The parties to the convention are normally determined to act with a view to achieving effective progress towards general and complete disarmament, including the prohibition and elimination of all types of weapons of mass destruction.