St Vincent and Jamaica ratify the new Arms Trade Treaty

CARICOMFlagUNITED NATIONS, (CMC) — St Vincent and the Grenadines and Jamaica have ratified the new Arms Trade Treaty as the Caribbean seeks to play an historic role in helping end the irresponsible, lethal global US$85 billion trade in small arms and light weapons and ammunition.

The delegations from the two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries Tuesday attended a special ratification ceremony at the United Nations’ Headquarters to mark the event.

“It is really positive that two more CARICOM member states have ratified the Arms Trade Treaty. St Vincent and the Grenadines hosted two of the four regional preparatory workshops at which CARICOM’s common negotiating position was agreed,” president of the Caribbean Coalition for Development and the Reduction of Armed Violence (CDRAV) Folade Mutota said.

“Jamaica was very instrumental during the negotiations when the region successfully pushed for the inclusion of small arms and ammunition in the treaty.

Caribbean civil society calls on our governments to do all that is necessary to implement this treaty,” she added.

Mutota said the road has been paved for governments to take effective measures to reduce significantly the proliferation of illegal arms and ammunition and the devastation that follows.

“Caribbean people expect swift implementation when the treaty comes into effect following the fiftieth ratification,” she said.

Since the Arms Trade Treaty opened for signature one year ago, 118 states have signed it, and so far 40 states including SVG and Jamaica have ratified this pioneering international agreement.

In order for the treaty to enter into force and become legally-binding international law, only 10 more states are required to ratify.

“CARICOM should be among those 10 states. We encourage CARICOM member states that have not yet done so to ratify this treaty now,” said Mutota.

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