Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Lack of agreement on arms trade treaty disappoints Ban

ATT1“I am disappointed that the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) concluded its four-week-long session without agreement on a treaty text that would have set common standards to regulate the international trade in conventional arms,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“The Conference's inability to conclude its work on this much-awaited ATT, despite years of effort of Member States and civil society from many countries, is a setback,” SG Ban added.

Ending on Friday without agreement, the four-week long Conference brought together the UN's 193 Member States to negotiate what is seen as the most important initiative ever regarding conventional arms regulation within the United Nations. According to media reports, some countries had indicated they needed more time to consider the issues.

Despite the lack of agreement, in his statement, Mr. Ban said that he was encouraged that the ATT process was not over, with States having agreed to continue pursuing “this noble goal.”

At the end of 2010, an estimated 27.5 million people were internally displaced as a result of conflict, while millions more have sought refuge abroad. In many cases, the armed violence that drove them from their homes was fuelled by the widespread availability and misuse of weapons.

In February, the heads of several UN agencies – including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – called for a comprehensive arms trade treaty that requires States to assess the risk that serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law may be committed with weapons being transferred; includes within its scope all conventional weapons, including small arms; and ensures that there are no loopholes by covering all types of transfers, including activities such as transit, trans-shipment, as wells as loans and leases.

Source: UN News Centre

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