Fiji is joining the international community to participate at the United Nations Second Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty which convened its opening session in Geneva this week.
Attended by member States of the United Nations, the Arms Trade Treaty is a landmark instrument that establishes legally binding international norms on the regulation of arms trade with the goal to eliminate their illicit transfers. Fiji is currently in its final stages towards ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty and if enacted, the treaty would allow for the international regulation of the $70 billion-a-year conventional arms trade, which ranges from small arms to warships.
For the treaty to take effect in Fiji, it must be ratified by the national parliamentary process. Once the process is complete, Fiji will join the other 87 State Parties in establishing the highest common international standards and regulations which promotes accountability and transparency in the international trade of conventional arms. Ratification further confirms Fiji’s support for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 16 on Peace, justice and building strong institutions, which will in turn reduce human suffering.
With the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, State Parties challenge and condemn arms transfers that violate and undermine the Treaty. The Second Conference of the States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty represented by a Fiji delegation will continue until Friday 26 August, 2016.
Fiji’s delegation to the Second Conference of States Parties included Mr George Washington of the Ministry of Defence, Ms Florieann Wilson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and intern Ms Mariana Jimenez at the Fiji Mission to Geneva.