T&T loses position to Geneva

Trinidad and Tobago has lost its bid to be the seat of the permanent secretariat of the Arms Trade Treaty, which aims to regulate the international arms trade.

The decision was announced recently that Switzerland had, instead, been chosen.

In February, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said that Trinidad and Tobago had made a formal offer to host the secretariat of the Treaty, which was ratified by the United Nations in September 2014.

“We believe that it would serve the interests of the international community as a whole, to have the secretariat located in the Caribbean region,” Persad-Bissessar said while speaking to members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit.

Trinidad and Tobago’s candidacy was supported by the group.

Recently, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran lobbied the UN Security Council to support the Arms Trade Treaty and expressed the hope that Trinidad and Tobago would be successful in its bid to host the secretariat.

He said there was a need for equitable geographic distribution in the location of international organizations and the trade in small arms and light weapons was a major concern for T&T and the Caribbean.

The announcement that Geneva Switzerland had been selected was made during a meeting in Cancun, Mexico, where 212 States who are party to the Arms Trade Treaty also considered Trinidad and Tobago and Vienna, Austria.

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