9 Jun 2015

Pacific Peace advocate calls for Pacific states to sign Arms Trade Treaty

8:20 am on 9 June 2015

A Pacific peace advocate says if Fiji joins the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, it will clearly demonstrate its commitment to maintaining peace and security as a leader in the region.

The treaty aims to regulate the international weapons trade in order to maintain international and regional peace.

Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls

Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls Photo: RNZI Sally Round

FEMLINK Pacific's Director in Fiji, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, is urging all Pacific Island governments to join the treaty.

Ms Bhagwan Rolls says the issue is not just about national security, but also about Fiji setting an example for the region.

"Because we have a history in our region and a very visible reminder of what the presence of guns has done and how they've fuelled a string of military coups, mutinies, tribal and ethnic violence, arm conflicts and gun homicides. I think it's really critical that the Fiji government looks to sign or ratify the Arms Trade Treaty as a member of the Pacific community."