Activists seeking rapid implementation of the recently agreed international Arms Trade Treaty say they will protest at the international security forum GLOBSEC 2013 currently being held in Bratislava. This year speakers at the conference include: Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter; Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski; Estonian President Hendrik Ilves; and Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic. Also attending are numerous participants from central and eastern Europe.
The activists say their protest against the arms trade will start in Bratislava on April 18. The SITA newswire learned from one of them, Robert Mihály, that they want to start their protest at 16:00 on Thursday in front of the conference venue. He says the main aim of the protest is to challenge national representatives of countries that are participating in the event to ratify and adhere to the treaty – which was recently adopted at the UN – as soon as possible.
Also at the gathering, Slovakia should be involved in a discussion about a planned free-trade zone between the US and the European Union (EU), the TASR newswire reported, citing GLOBSEC founder Robert Vass on Wednesday. "The agreement on the free-trade zone is a new pillar in trans-Atlantic relations that will set global standards. We don't want to be mere spectators at the discussions in Brussels ... we want to initiate a similar discussion here, as [the trans-Atlantic free-trade] zone will have a real impact on all spheres of Slovakia industry and business," said Vass.
The US along with the EU account for more than half of the world's GDP, Vass observed. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the scrapping of the existing trade tariffs between the two markets could increase the EU's GDP by 0.4 percent and the USA’s GDP by as much as 1 percent. However, elimination of some 50 percent of non-tariff barriers such as licences and quotas on both continents could raise their joint GDP by 3 percent. Sberbank Slovensko chief analyst Vladimír Vaňo told TASR that even though no more than 2 percent of Slovakia's exports went to the US last year, the agreement could be important for the country. The planned trans-Atlantic co-operation is also expected to have a considerable impact on the automotive industry.
Sources: SITA, TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
18. Apr 2013 at 14:00