New Zealand Opposition Pushes Fiji To Join UN Arms Trade Treaty

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Kiwi MP: Signing treaty would send a strong message to region, world

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 11, 2015) – New Zealand opposition MP Su'a William Sio is visiting Fiji this week to encourage its Government to join the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

Sio who is also Labour's Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson told Radio NZ that if Fiji signs and ratifies the treaty then it would lead the way for other Pacific states as joining the treaty will send a strong message to the region and the world.

"It is about sending a very strong signal to the countries that manufacture conventional weapons that we want to regulate their movements, we want to monitor what they do for that. And it's about sending a clear signal that we in the Pacific take a very strong position in maintaining peace and security for our region."

He added that signing and ratifying the treaty will also send a clear signal to other trading partners and aid donor countries.

"That'll give confidence to those countries who have a vested interest in making sure that we in Fiji, that we in the Pacific, are able to work towards achieving our sustainable development goals."

The United Nations Treaty aims to regulate the international trade in conventional weapons for the purpose of maintaining international and regional peace.

Only Samoa, New Zealand and Australia have signed and ratified the treaty.

Other Pacific Island states that have signed the Treaty but are yet to ratify it, include Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

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