Simuusa inks anti-arms trade deal

Wylbur Simuusa
Wylbur Simuusa

ZAMBIA and 20 other countries have appended their signatures to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), an agreement which is expected to halt the sale of illegal arms in the world.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wylbur Simuusa signed the ATT at a joint singing with other world leaders and ministers on the margins of the 68th session of United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
Mr Simuusa said in an interview after the signing ceremony that at country level, Zambia will be able to control the flow of arms into the country, while at global level, there will be a reduction in armed conflicts perpetuated by the illegal arms dealers.
“Illegal arms trade is a big business. This is the reason why most of the conflicts in the world can’t be managed because people have access to illegal arms. So we needed a global platform for countries to come together, hence the crafting of the Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the sale of arms,” he said.
The minister explained that the ATT was adopted last April at a UN platform, but could not come into force because only 84 out of 193 member states had acceded to it.
The signing of the ATT by Zambia, the Philippines, South Africa, Lesotho, Trinidad and Tobago, Sierra Leone and Yugoslavia, among others, allows for the implementation of the treaty.
“We now have enough signatures to bring the ATT into force. This means that we will now be able to regulate the international trade on conventional weapons,” Mr Simuusa said.
The illegal arms trade is a big business fetching dealers and warlords about US$70 billion hence, difficult to control.
However, the minister said Zambia is particularly happy with the ATT because she assumed the presidency of the cluster munitions convention after hosting the fourth meeting of states parties of the cluster munitions convention two weeks ago.
“As Zambia, we are very happy with this development because we are slowly being recognised on the world map as champions of peace and stability,” Mr Simuusa said.