First Look

Jamaica to sign and ratify Arms Treaty

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade | 2013-04-04 00:00:00

On 2nd April 2013, the United Nations General Assembly by a majority vote of 154 member states approved a landmark Arms Trade Treaty which aims to regulate the enormous global trade in conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons, with a view to, inter alia, preventing their diversion from the legal trade to the illicit market. Jamaica voted in favour of the resolution and was among the 90 co-sponsors of the resolution which called for the adoption of the Treaty.

"The Government commends the United Nations General Assembly for its decision to adopt the ATT as the international community seeks to mitigate the impact that the unregulated trade in conventional weapons has exacted on the security and the well-being of people across the world and the development of states," says Senator, the Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade.

The Government of Jamaica, mindful of the impact of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons on the level of crime and violence in Jamaica, and by extension its economic and social development, has always attached great importance to the ATT. As such, Jamaica, along with CARICOM as a whole, was an active participant in both the preparatory process and the formal negotiations which began in July 2012 at the First ATT Diplomatic Conference, with a view to ensuring the adoption by the international community of a robust and comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty.

Of note is the fact that the Treaty seeks to, inter alia,

* Establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms; and

* Prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion.

The Treaty also  requires each State Party to implement its provisions, which include the establishment and maintenance of a national control list of the conventional weapons covered under the treaty as well as their ammunitions, parts and components. In addition, each State Party involved in the transfer of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) shall take measures to prevent their diversion, through its national control system, by assessing the risk of diversion of the export.

The Treaty, which opens for signature on 3rd June 2013, is set to enter into force ninety days following the date of the deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval with the Depositary.

Jamaica will now commence the necessary steps to sign and ratify the treaty at the earliest opportunity and encourages others to do likewise.

While the process leading to this historic adoption of the ATT has been a long and arduous one, the decision by the General Assembly on 2nd April 2013 not only reaffirms the importance of multilateralism, but also the important role of the United Nations in addressing issues which impact people's  every day lives.

Posted By :Ann- Margaret Lim

Company Name : Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

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