General — 21 November 2014 — by Adele Ramos
Senate to consider two treaties for ratification

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 20, 2014

Two international legal instruments are to be tabled in the Senate when it meets next Wednesday, November 26, 2014, to consider 5 money motions, including the US$114 million PetroCaribe loan motion which has been at the center of political controversy.

On the one hand, the Senate will be asked to ratify the landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is supposed to regulate international trade in conventional arms – from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. That treaty will come into force on December 24, 2014.

United Nations information indicates that Belize signed on to the ATT on June 3, 2013, but it is pending parliamentary ratification here. So far, 122 countries have signed the treaty.

At next week’s meeting, the Senate will be asked to authorize Belize’s accession to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. UN information indicates that one of the objectives of the Convention is protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expressions, as well as the recognition of the distinctive nature of cultural activities, goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning.

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