Saint Lucia has signed the Arms Trade Treaty on the first day that it opened for signature.
Menissa Rambally, ambassador and permanent representative of Saint Lucia to the United Nations (UN), joined more than 65 countries (10 from the CARICOM) in signing the landmark treaty regulating the multi-billion-dollar global arms trade, on Monday, June 3, 2013 at the United Nations.
The signing by so many states on the first day provides a strong opening to the first international campaign to stop the illicit trade in weapons that fuel conflicts and extremists.
Following the signing, Rambally stated that “the treaty is a major step in building a defense against the weak, non-existent global regulations that facilitate the free flow of arms and ammunition into the hands of local criminals”.
Saint Lucia has participated actively at the UN for over seven years, negotiating the text of the treaty in the lead up to its opening for signature.
The treaty will require countries that ratify it to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and components and to regulate arms brokers, but will not control the domestic use of weapons in any country.
It prohibits the transfer of conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, and if they could be used in attacks on civilians or civilian buildings such as schools and hospitals.
Signatures are the first step to ratification and the treaty will take effect 90 days after the 50th country ratifies it.
The Treaty can be accessed at http://treaties.un.org.