Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Jamaica to host small arms conference

Published:Friday | March 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM

JAMAICA IS to host a seminar on small arms trade next month under the banner 'Enhance Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and United Nations Programme of Action Implementation by South-South Parliamentary Exchange and Cooperation'.

Cabinet gave approval for Jamaica to host the seminar, which is to be held under the auspices of the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).

The Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons was inaugurated in 1999 to create a platform for greater action on small arms and light weapons. It is the only global network of parliamentarians specifically dedicated to matters of arms control and the prevention of violence.

Jamaica has been an active participant in the activities of the forum since 2009.

The forum holds the view that parliamentarians have a significant role to play to ensure that the Arms Trade Treaty effectively prevents and reduces armed violence and, in particular, SALW-related violence.

It is estimated that at least 639 million small arms and light weapons are circulating worldwide today. Each year, more than eight million small arms and light weapons are produced, together with more than 16 billion rounds of ammunition.

The Small Arms Survey estimates that 70 per cent of global SALW stockpiles are in civilian hands.

Particularly in developing and transitional societies, the wide availability and use of small arms is associated with enormous suffering and insecurity, as some 300,000 people are killed and millions more are affected by small arms each year.