Sunday, February 2, 2014

PM makes bid for T&T to host secretariat of Arms Trade Treaty

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar at Piarco Airport Saturday (Newsday photo)
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told reporters Saturday she has made a formal bid for the for the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty to be located in Trinidad and Tobago. 

She was speaking at Piarco International Airport shortly after her return from Havana where the issue was discussed at the just concluded summit of  Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
She explained her rationale for this initiative. "Our geographic location has made us very vulnerable to the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons. 

"We do not manufacture guns or ammunition, we do not manufacture cocaine and other hard drugs, yet we are a transshipment point and, of course, the guns are creating havoc and great sadness in our own country here...All the major institutions of the UN should not be located in the same geographic locations, but we should have something here in the CELAC and T&T.”

Persad-Bissessar also spoke about discussions at the summit, some of which focused on control of the drug trade within the region. 

"As we all know, this is a major challenge that we all in the Caribbean and Latin American states encountered. We found it necessary to refine policies that deal with this,” she said, noting that such policies deal with both control and  treatment and rehabilitation of users.   

The PM said she has agreed that Trinidad and Tobago would be included in the "zone of peace" that is included in the Declaration of Havana that CELAC members signed at the meeting. 

"This agreement seeks to ensure conflicts which may arise are managed in a peaceful, civilised manner without encroaching on the sovereignty of the member states," she explained.

She said a group of leaders met to discuss significant issues affecting the region, including solutions to the current problems facing islands in the region. 

"The Declaration of Havana highlights the importance of the region as a space that facilitates dialogue while fostering regional cooperation," she said.

Persad-Bissessar said the Declaration also highlights the  urgency of working together to develop the the people of the Caribbean. "This year we engaged in discussions surrounding central issues such as poverty, illiteracy and inequality,” she said.

No comments:

Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai