GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday March 20, 2013 – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will be pressing for a successful conclusion to the final negotiation session of the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on an Arms Trade Treaty which began at the United Nations on Monday, according to a statement issued by the CARICOM Secretariat.
It said such an outcome to the 10-day conference is of vital importance to CARICOM, noting that at the CARICOM Inter-Sessional summit in Haiti last month, regional leaders had expressed the hope that “the international community adopts tangible and effective measures to regulate the trade in conventional weapons” at this UN conference.
The statement said that in preparation for the conference, CARICOM held a meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines earlier this month where Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves bemoaned “the weak, ineffectual and non-existent global regulations that facilitate the free flow of arms from the factories of wealthy corporations into the hands of impoverished and senseless criminals, or hardened ones, and morally bankrupt terrorists”.
Gonsalves said that those regulations must be “tightened and crafted into robust safeguards that materially improve and protect the lives of our citizens”.
The CARICOM statement said that during the summit in Haiti, the regional leaders had also expressed grave concern over the unregulated trade in conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons and their ammunition, “which has exacted an unbearable toll on the security and the well-being of our citizenry, and the development of our States”.
It said they also voiced their concerns to US Attorney General Eric Holder during his meeting with them.
“The Community is hopeful that the major arms manufacturing nations would play a positive role in bringing the negotiations to a successful conclusion,” the statement added. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)