Security a top issue as CARICOM meets in St. Vincent

The outgoing Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who has lead responsibility for security within the quasi CARICOM cabinet, told fellow Prime Ministers at the opening ceremony on Monday morning, that looking ahead, crime and security are issues that are critical to the sustainability of the region.

She said the region needs to work decisively to eradicate crime and threats to the safety of the people of CARICOM.

The Prime Minister added that in this regard, Trinidad & Tobago is proposing an amendment to the agenda of the meeting, for the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty.

The Trinidadian leader also offered to have her country, with the endorsement of CARICOM, bid to Host the Secretariat in Port of Spain.

The Arms Trade Treaty provides the Caribbean with a significant component in the global fight against the trade of conventional arms in illicit markets.

To date 116 States have signed the ATT, including all CARICOM Members, except Haiti. 
Eleven States have ratified the Treaty thereby expressing their consent to be legally bound by its provisions. They are Iceland, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Panama and Norway.

For the ATT to come into force, Article 22 requires the signatures and early ratification by 50 signatory States so that the Treaty can come into force with the minimum of delay.
Mexico and Chile have already formally pledged support for Trinidad and Tobago’s CARICOM-endorsed bid to host the ATT Secretariat.

However, among CARICOM member States, only Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada have so far ratified the ATT.

In addition, Persad-Bissessar urged CARICOM member States to prepare to participate, once more with a unified approach, in the negotiations that will ensue before and after the ATT comes into force. 



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