The Maldives on Sunday ratified the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, the UN Cluster Munitions Convention and the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid submitted instruments of ratifications for the three conventions to UN Office of Legal Affairs during a ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York.
The arms trade treaty “regulates international trade in conventional weapons, and is designed to stop the illicit flow of arms in the world” and the cluster munitions convention “prohibits the use, transfer and stockpiling of cluster bombs, a category of weapon which scatters submunitions over a large area, and is a threat to innocent civilians, especially women and children,” the Maldives foreign ministry explained.
Both treaties were approved by parliament in the first week of September along with the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The optional protocol was signed in February 2012 but was left unratified. The instrument “allows individual children to submit complaints about specific violations of their human rights and fundamental freedoms under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols.”
The Maldives has now ratified all three optional protocols under CRC.
On Friday, the Maldives ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with Foreign Minister Shahid signing it on behalf of the government and submitting the instrument of ratification to the UN Secretary General.
It was described as “the first international legally binding instrument to completely prohibit the development, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, and forms an integral part of international efforts towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.”
Following deliberations by the cabinet, parliament approved signing the treaty on September 3.
“The Maldives has been a vehement supporter of international disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction since joining the United Nations,” the foreign ministry said. “It ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970, and has consistently taken a moral and principled position on the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.”