It was a strong week for the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as three more states signed or ratified the instrument at UN headquarters in New York. Cameroon became the 124th state to sign when H.E. Mr. Michel Tommo Monthe, deposited the instrument on 3 December. Ms Karen Tan, Ambassador of Singapore, signed the ATT on her country’s behalf on 5 December shortly after H.E. Mr. Milan Milanović deposited Serbia’s instrument of ratification. Serbia is now the 55th country to ratify the ATT.

Control Arms welcomes new signatories Singapore and Cameroon. Singapore is a growing arms exporter and significant importer as well. They are the eighth country from the Asia region to sign.

Cameroon becomes the 29th African State to sign the ATT. Porous borders in Central Africa have facilitated illicit arms flows within the region, fuelling violence and crime. The ATT, which has also been signed by Cameroon’s neighbor Chad, will help to align the arms transfer policies and practices of the countries in the sub-region.

“This is a wonderful stride from Cameroon, ” said Eugine Nyuydine Ngalim, Director of Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace, a Control Arms member. “But they have one more step to take – ratification of the ATT. Ratifying the Treaty will seriously contribute to reducing arms proliferation, especially urgent given the situation of the Boko Haram and the Séléka rebel incursions from the North and Eastern regions of Cameroon.”

With entry-into-force just a few weeks away, on 24 December, it’s anticipated that other states will sign the Treaty this month. After the 24th, states wishing to join will have to follow a process of accession. Control Arms looks forward to welcoming these new signatures and encourages those states that have begun the ratification process to conclude it swiftly.

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