The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is now back to work in staging a regional meeting in Palau by the end of July to develop understanding on Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it signed with the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction (CAVR) in 2017.
Special Assistant to the Minister of Justice (MOJ) Keiden Kintol said in an interview with Island Times that they had already sent an invitation to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) about two weeks ago and as of press time, FSM had already sent its positive reply to the invitation.
Palau had been previously awarded a grant worth $85,000 from the UNDP Voluntary Trust Fund for the conduct of the national and regional meetings it is mandated to do based on the MOU it signed with CAVR.
Palau has already initiated the national workshop in November 2017 and it had also already come up with a working group.
According to Kintol, the deadline for the conduct of the meeting is until August and if the participants for the regional meeting will not show up before the deadline, then Palau is bound to return the money it received from the fund.
Kintol explained that they had already invited FSM and RMI last year for the supposed regional meeting but the participants never showed up.
Kintol also shared that MOJ had already sent a joint resolution regarding the ATT to the office of the president and they are now waiting for its approval and review in both houses of the Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) and he hopes that Palau will finally arrive at the point of ratifying the ATT.
ATT aims to regulate the international trade in conventional weapons and it “underlines the need to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to the illicit market, or for unauthorized end use or end users, including in the commission of terrorist acts.” (Rhealyn C. Pojas)