UN Arms Trade Treaty Seen As Benefit To Pacific Islands

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Treaty would keep weapons out of potential conflict areas

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 3, 2013) – The United Nations has almost unanimously passed an international arms treaty that forces countries to regulate their trade in conventional weapons.

The treaty puts rules in place that will make countries consider human rights and whether those arms will be used to violate international laws before they make any deals to trade weapons.

Oxfam New Zealand’s arms control coordinator, Luke Roughton, says the treaty is significant for the Pacific region because it will help countries bolster their own arms regulations.

"We’ve seen conflict in the Solomon Islands, Bougainville, we see armed violence almost every day in some places in the Pacific. So what this treaty will do is it will stop those weapons from moving into the region when there’s a risk that those weapons will be used. It also puts some rules around things like brokering which we have a lot of."

Luke Roughton says AUSaid has made a commitment to help fund poorer countries to enforce the treaty, and he says New Zealand is likely to make a similar commitment.

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