UN welcomes signing of Arms Trade Treaty by majority of states
United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the total number of signatories to a treaty regulating international trade in conventional arms has now exceeded half of all UN member states.
Yesterday, 18 countries, including the United States, signed the treaty.
"It is of particular significance that the largest arms-exporting country in the world, the United States, is now also among those countries who have committed themselves to a global regulation of the arms trade," Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.
Among other provisions, the new treaty - which will enter into force once it receives 50 ratifications - includes a prohibition on the transfer of arms which would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, and certain war crimes.
The signatures received yesterday pushed the number of signatories to 107.
Opposition presses Gov't to reveal crime plan
Opposition Spokesman on National Security Delroy Chuck yesterday called on Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and National Security Minister Peter Bunting to break what he characterised as their silence on the hike in crime.
"The Opposition calls on the prime minister and the minister of national security to say exactly what support is now being given to the police to ensure that they keep the crime problem under control," Chuck said, at a press briefing at the Jamaica Labour Party's headquarters in St Andrew.
Chuck added that the Government needs to explain how it plans to inspire a sense of safety as gang warfare continues to escalate, and the murder rate has surged to about five per day over the past three weeks.
Chuck charged that the Government's failure to impose the provisions of six pieces of anti-crime legislation and the abandoning of community policing reflect a lack of political will to arrest the spike in murders and other serious criminal offences.
Upper House to examine proposed changes to Commission of Enquiries Act today
The Senate will today commence debate on a bill which is seeking to amend the Commission of Enquiries Act. The bill is proposing a limit to spending on enquiries, as well as increased fines for failure to attend before a commission.
At present, persons who fail to appear before a commission of enquiry can be charged a maximum $500. It is being proposed to increase that fine to $3 million.
The bill, which was tabled on September 13, also proposes that the financial secretary enters into an agreement with commissioners for remuneration and make arrangements for other expenses for the carrying out of the activities of the commission.
OUR's review of renewable-energy bids under way
The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is pushing to meet its latest target date of next Monday to announce the preferred bidder to provide 115 megawatts of renewable energy to the national grid.
The OUR had previously indicated that the evaluation of the bids would be completed and the preferred bidder advised by the middle of this month.
But last week, Ansord Hewitt, director of regulation, policy, monitoring and enforcement at the OUR, announced the new September 30 deadline.
According to Hewitt, because of the unexpectedly large number of bids and the need to seek clarification from bidders on a number of items - as provided for in the request for proposals process - it was impossible to keep the initial timeline.