Arms Trade Treaty workshop ends on high

The National Arms Trade Treaty two day workshop in Port Moresby ended on Friday.

The workshop provides the opportunity for participants to share and exchange views, information and experience to improve the existing domestic mechanisms to effectively address the ATT issue in PNG in domesticating the treaty when ratified.

The Arms Trade Treaty falls within the ambit of United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) that came into force on the 29th September 2003.

Essentially, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) primary focus is to control and regulate the production and sale of weapons of all forms and sizes, including the illegal trades of Arms and ammunition across the international Borders.

Acting Director General, Multilateral and Development Cooperation Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, Cephas Kayo said PNG as a concerned party was one of the initial UN Member state that took active part in the negotiation of this Treaty when it was negotiated and drafted at the UN.

However, he said due to our domestic circumstances at the time when the treaty was open for signature, PNG was not able to formally ratify the ATT, but that does not mean we are losing focus on our commitment to this important Treaty, we still remain committed to it.

“The National Workshop is timely as it will provide us with a comprehensive understanding of the ATT and to share experiences and good practices in coordinating and cooperation at the national level in highlighting some of the possible challenges that we will face in implementing the treaty it is ratified.

“It is critical that we take advantage of the presentations that will be made from the experts who are present here as those presentations will assist us in developing a national framework through which ATT and other related Treaties can be operationalize at the national level.”

The Pacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG) made this event possible by providing all necessary assistance required including provision of funds to host this event.

Those attended include Ms Laura Spano, Arms Control Manager, Nathan Page, the Project Coordinator, Ms Hannah Lewis, International Law expert from Centre for Armed Violence Reduction, who are distinct specialists in the area of ATT to assist PNG in crafting a positive way forward to eventually ratifying the treaty in the near future.

Freddy Mou