Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has lamented that while critical steps are being taken in the international arena to hammer out an Arms Trade Treaty, locally the opposition has voted down a bill that seeks to strengthen this country’s fight against illicit arms. Negotiators from around 150 countries gathered in New York at the United Nations for a final push to hammer out a binding international treaty to end unregulated conventional arms sales, a pact that a powerful U. S. pro-gun lobby is urging Washington to reject.
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee
Arms control campaigners and human rights advocates say one person every minute dies worldwide as a result of armed violence, and that a treaty is needed to halt the uncontrolled flow of weapons and ammunition which helps fuel wars, atrocities, and rights abuses. The UN General Assembly voted in December to relaunch negotiations this week on what could become the first global treaty to regulate the world’s US$ 70 billion trade for all conventional weapons – from naval ships, tanks, and attack helicopters, to hand guns and assault rifles – after a drafting conference in July 2012 collapsed because the U.S., then Russia and China, wanted more time. In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Rohee said the Home Affairs Ministry has noted the critical stage of ongoing negotiations at the United Nations.