Today, we celebrate this achievement of signing the Arms Trade Treaty-JamaicaListen / The Government of Jamaica is proud to participate and be among the first signatories at the opening for signature of the Arms Trade Treaty.
That's what the Permanent Representative of Jamaica Ambassador Courtenay Rattray said, noting it was a singular honor to sign the historic Treaty on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica as his first act on assuming duties that very day as the Permanent representative of Jamaica.
“Our decision to be an original signatory is not only a strong demonstration of the highest priority we accord to the establishment of common global standards to regulate the international trade in conventional weapons, but also f the great urgency we attach to the early and effective implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty. Our sense of urgency is borne of a firm conviction that this Treaty can contribute significantly to reducing the suffering of many Jamaicans and countless peoples around the world, especially women and children, who are living daily under the deadly and devastating impact of the illicit trade in arms and ammunition.”
According to Ambassador Rattray, as is widely known, per capita murder rates in the Caribbean are among the highest in the world and 70 per cent of the murders in the sub-region involve small arms.
“While we do not manufacture these weapons or import them in any significant quantities, our region has been disproportionately affected for far too long by the disastrous impact and tragic consequences of the illicit trade. It is against this backdrop as well as a strong belief in concerted global action in tackling this trans-boundary scourge that Jamaica and other CARICOM States joined and actively participated in the UN Arms Trade Treaty process. Throughout the process, we remained steadfast in our commitment to achieve a robust, implementable and legally binding instrument as a necessity to closing the significant loopholes in the global legal trade in arms. Today, we celebrate that achievement.”
Ambassador Rattray said they took great pride in the fact that during the negotiating process CARICOM's voice was significant.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said with the Arms Trade Treaty, "the world has decided to finally put an end to the free-for-all nature of international weapons transfers".
He added that from now on, weapons and ammunition should only cross borders after the exporter confirmed that the transfer complied with internationally agreed standards.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.