On June 3rd, symptoms the Pacific island nations of Palau and Tuvalu became the first countries in the Pacific region to sign the United Nations small arms treaty.
The landmark treaty aims to bring transparency and human rights protection to global arms trade as it puts rules in place requiring countries to consider human rights when making any deals.
New Zealand and Australia have also signed on to the treaty and according to reports, Samoa is also expected to sign at the upcoming Un general assembly later this year.
Oxfam New Zealand Executive Director Barry Coates recently told Radio New Zealand that it’s a major step forward for the Pacific as the treaty provides some controls over flood of small arms that can often end up destabilizing states.
Described by Australia’s Foreign Minister as a historic agreement, more than 60 countries have signed on since it opened for signatures earlier this week.
The next step for the signatories is to ratify the treaty before it can come into effect.