Panama capped off the first ten countries to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) when it submitted its instrument of ratification at the United Nations in New York on 11 February.
“This latest ratification shows the commitment from the Latin American region to ensuring that the ATT enters into force as soon as possible. We are now looking forward to seeing the rest of the region ratify.”
– Maria Pia Devoto of Associacion Para Publicas in Argentina and a regional coordinator for Control Arms.
For a transit country and trading hub such as Panama, the ATT can help to prevent destabilizing arms transfers by reinforcing regulating in places where the weapons might become vulnerable to diversion. Earlier this week, for example, the three highest ranking crew members of a North Korean ship detained near the Panama Canal for holding Cuban weapons were charged with weapons trafficking. The ship was seized in July for smuggling Soviet-era arms, including two MiG-21 aircraft, under 10, 000 tons of sugar.
Control Arms congratulates Panama on ratifying the Treaty, the third country in Central America to do so.