Abuja –  Nigeria has joined other UN member states to sign the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) adopted in April.

This is contained in a statement issued by Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru, who signed the treaty on Monday in New York.

The statement, which was faxed to Abuja, stated that the ATT was the first international treaty regulating the global arms trade.

Ashiru said that Nigeria was the first African country to sign and ratify the ATT and assured of the government’s commitment to the treaty.

“Today Nigeria becomes the first African country to sign and ratify the ATT.

“This landmark event represents our deep commitment to a treaty which establishes common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.

“We remain resolute and unyielding in our efforts to uphold the principle of ATT and in particular ensure that small arms and light weapons are appropriately transferred and access denied to terrorist groups and the likes.”

The minister said that the treaty was valuable to the African continent, adding that it addressed the issues of arms trafficking and illicit trade.

According to him, this will prevent possible crimes against humanity and contribute to peace and stability on the continent.

Ashiru said that the treaty represented a major contribution to the development of international law as well as promote democracy globally.

The ATT was approved overwhelmingly in April at the UN General Assembly with 154 countries, voting in support of the treaty while three countries, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Syria opposed it with 23 abstentions.

More than 60 states have so far signed the ATT.

According to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the treaty will foster peace and security by putting a stop to destabilising arms flow to conflict regions.

Though the ATT will not control the domestic weapons use once ratified, it will require states to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and regulate arms brokers, among other objectives. (NAN)


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