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Jamaica Ratifies Arms Trade Treaty

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Jamaica is now one of 40 countries across the world to have ratified the Arms Trade Treaty, which was opened for signatures at the United Nations in New York last June.

Jamaica joined St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Burkino Faso, Samoa, Australia, Austria, Belgium, and Luxemburg in ratifying the Treaty at a special ceremony on June 3 at the UN headquarters.

Ratification of the Treaty will assist Jamaica in addressing the challenges related to the inflow of small arms into the country.

The Arms Trade Treaty seeks to regulate international trade in conventional weapons, so as to prevent their diversion from the legal market to the illicit trade.

It also establishes common international standards governing the transfer of conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons.

Speaking at a Jamaica House media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on June 11, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said Cabinet approved the ratification.

She noted that approval was also given for new legislation to enable the establishment of a body as the designated, competent national authority to monitor and keep comprehensive records, establish and maintain the control system and the control list, where relevant.

Additionally, Cabinet has authorised amendment of the Firearms Act and the Gun Powder and Explosives Act, as well as any other existing legislation to include the relevant provisions necessary for the implementation of the Treaty.

By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker

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