The world moved two steps closer to winning the Race to 50 in the last two days. On 11 and 12 August, the Dominican Republic and Sierra Leone respectively ratified the Arms Trade Treaty. Their ratifications bring the total number to 43, just seven short of the critical 50 that will trigger entry into force.

The Dominican Republic deposited their instrument of ratification on Monday, the latest state from Latin America and the Caribbean to do so. As a transit hub for weapons and ammunition, the Dominican Republic understands the role the Arms Trade Treaty can play in stymying weapons flows to unauthorized users. The ATT’s criteria on weapons diversion, transit, and transshipment are important to island states such as the Dominican Republic.

The following day, Sierra Leone became the fourth African country to ratify the ATT. As a country that has experienced the ravages of civil war, Sierra Leone knows the devastating impact that unregulated arms can have. Throughout negotiations, Sierra Leone was a staunch support of a treaty that would truly save lives.

“If there was an ATT in existence before the outbreak of our civil war in Sierra Leone, an obligation would have compelled some countries to look at the consequences of allowing arms to cross their country borders.”

– Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara, Deputy Permanent Representative at the first Diplomatic Conference on the ATT in 2012.

After depositing the instrument of ratification, Ambassador Vandi Chidi Minah said that Sierra Leone “hopes for an arms free world.”

Control Arms welcomes these ratifications and encourages all States to sign and ratify the ATT as soon as possible.

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