CARICOM will continue to stoutly defend its interests in Arms Trade Treaty Talks

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Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

The Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty wrapped up its first of a two-week session Friday at Headquarters in New York, building on the work of the July 2012 Conference. The session has been designated as "final" to reflect the overwhelming commitment to conclude the arms trade treaty process and reach an agreement and produce a balanced, robust and effective arms trade treaty.

Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the representative of Trinidad and Tobago Ambassador Eden Charles said governments of the region are determined that this Conference not suffer the fate of the last one which failed to agree on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

” CARICOM governments have from the very beginning of the UNATT process called for a treaty to establish commonly agreed international standards to regulate the trade in conventional weapons, which includes small arms and light weapons, their ammunition and parts and components. Our heads of State and Governments are convinced that an ATT is an essential part of the global effort to prevent the diversion of weapons from the legal trade to the illicit market. This position was reaffirmed by CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional meeting which took place in Haiti last month.”

NAR: Ambassador Charles noted that the Conference brought together representatives of many states, including major manufacturers, exporters and importers of conventional weapons, as well as other states impacted by the global trade in conventional arms. As such, in crafting treaty language, he pointed out, it is necessary to strike the essential balance between the interests of all states concerned.

” CARICOM has always demonstrated a willingness to work with all States desirous of concluding and ATT. In this spirit we have also sought dialogue with the few which are not convinced of the utility of such an important global agreement. While we remain ready to engage in a spirit of compromise and flexibility, CARICOM will continue to stoutly defend its interests. . While we will support the consensus rule to adopt decisions in the process of building bridges to achieve our noble objective which is to conclude an effective, legally binding instrument, we will not support any attempt to use it as a means of derailing this process.”

NAR: Ambassador Charles stressed that it was undeniable that regulation of the global arms trade would ultimately assist in reducing, if not preventing armed conflict, and armed violence which have caused tremendous human suffering in many regions of the world.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 3’01″

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