On Friday 21 March, Haiti became the 117th country to sign the Arms Trade Treaty when Ambassador Mr. Denis Régis signed on behalf of his country at the United Nations in New York.
The Treaty represents a way for the Haitian government to respond to the problems of arms smuggling through its porous borders and reduce domestic problems of armed violence and crime.
With Haiti’s signature, all members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have signed the ATT. The region was a progressive voice throughout the negotiations, frequently speaking out in support of including provisions on gender-based violence, ammunition and parts and components. Haiti and the rest of CARICOM took a strong position on including diversion in the Treaty, as it is the biggest problem associated with the arms trade in the region and will hopefully provide a mechanism to stem the tide of weapons to criminal networks and gangs.
“Haiti’s signature of the ATT further demonstrate the high level of importance which CARICOM Member States attach to the Treaty. Haiti is among the CARICOM countries most affected by the proliferation of illegal small arms and ammunition which have largely contributed to undermining Haiti’s development.”
– Folade Mutota, President of the Caribbean Coalition for Development and the Reduction of Armed Violence (CDRAV).
Mutota further urged all CARICOM Member States to “ratify the ATT and introduce all necessary administrative procedures for implementation.”