T&T bids to host UN Arms Trade Treaty secretariat

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo
AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has made a formal bid for Trinidad and Tobago to host the next secretariat for the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

She made the announcement after her return from the recently-concluded Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) meeting in Cuba.

She cited several reasons why Trinidad and Tobago should host the secretariat.

“Our geographic location has made us very vulnerable to illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons. We do not manufacture guns or ammunition, we do not manufacture cocaine and other hard drugs, yet we are a transshipment point and, of course, the guns are creating havoc and great sadness in our country,” she said.

“All the major institutions of the UN should not be located in one region,” she argued.

The ATT is intended to regulate the trade in small arms and light weapons, particularly in territories affected by the illegal drug trade.

Persad-Bissessar said the discussions also turned to control of the drug trade within the region.

“This is a major challenge that we all in the Caribbean and Latin American states encountered. We found it necessary to refine policies that deal with this,” she said.

The prime minister said those policies deal with not just control, but treatment and rehabilitation of users.

She said proposals to tackle poverty, illiteracy and inequality were also discussed during the summit.

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