Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 26th 2014 Contents A6
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With the United Nation s Arms Treaty officially
taking effect on Christmas Eve this year, Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said that was
another arsenal in the fight against crime for T&T.
The PM said so while fielding questions from
members of the local media after delivering the fea-
ture address of the T&T Investment Conference at
Pratt House, Manhattan.
At the United Nation s Headquarters, New York,
yesterday eight countries, including St Lucia and
Bahamas, confirmed ratification of the treaty, bringing
the number of countries to have ratified to 53.
The UN needed 50 ratifications to trigger the
treaty s entry into force.
So far 119 states have signed the treaty and it has
been described by Persad-Bissessar as a historic
"This means for Trinidad and Tobago greater reg-
ulation and control and therefore better monitoring
with respect to arms and ammunition and this is
something we are very happy for to help us in the
fight against crime," Persad-Bissessar said.
She added that from day one T&T and other
countries had been advocating that initiative, espe-
cially regrading the monitoring of small arms.
"We do not make arms but the weapons of mass
destruction are not the ones that are killing our
people and that s why I was very keen on this arms
"That within it should be provided matters dealing
with small arms. Before you talked about the huge
missiles but what has been killing us and here in
the Caribbean are small arms. That was included
and we look forward to the implementation of this
particular treaty," Persad-Bissessar said.
Apart from T&T, Austria and Switzerland are also
seeking to have the treaty s secretariat be established
in their countries.
Saying T&T has been on a vigorous campaign to
make this a reality the PM added:
"Our lobby has been that most of these head-
quarters for secretariats have tended to be in the
north and there must be some kind of geographic
"We look forward to get the support of many of
the nations of the United Nation s family for the
secretariat to be house in T&T," Persad-Bissessar
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran, who
was present at the UN s headquarters yesterday, said
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Kamla signs another treaty in crime fight
with the treaty soon coming into effect it
would pave the way for making smaller
states like T&T safer.
Dookeran, who said he had several meet-
ings in New York this week, praised T&T s
efforts in supporting the treaty.
He added: "Trinidad and Tobago has
been the lead negotiator in this venture
over the last two years for the Caricom
region. We have worked closely with a
number of other global partners... first to
have the treaty passed in the United Nation s
General Assembly and now today (yesterday)
in this landmark event of having been rat-
ified by over 50 countries."
He said it was a "success story" for diplo-
macy in the world and for the UN in ensur-
ing that the treaty would make the world
a safer place by controlling and regulating
the illegal flow of arms and ammunition.
He said the first conference of states par-
ties would be organised and the forum
would review the operation and implemen-
tation of the treaty.
The threshold of 50 ratifications was reached
yesterday at a joint ceremony as part of the
2014 treaty event. Eight states---Argentina,
Bahamas, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech
Republic, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Senegal and
Uruguay---deposited their instruments of
ratification yesterday, while Georgia and
Namibia signed the treaty. Adopted by the
assembly in April 2013, the treaty will enter
into force 90 days after the date of the
deposit of the 50th instrument of ratification.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar tries her hand on a steelpan at the Cunard Ballroom in New York City's financial district after
a brief ceremony in which she raised T&T's flag next to the iconic Raging Bull on Wednesday, the country's Republic Day.
PHOTO: ANTHONY WILSON
NEW YORK PAN
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