World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Diplomats Agree To Conclude Arms Treaty in 2013

Diplomats Agree To Conclude Arms Treaty in 2013

Governments pass UN resolution to hold major diplomatic conference next year with an unprecedented 157 YES votes, including China for the first time, 18 abstentions & 0 votes against

New York: Governments negotiating an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) need to ensure next year’s diplomatic conference - aimed at regulating the US$70 billion-worth weapons trade - is a success, said the Control Arms coalition today.

Discussions, over the last four weeks at the United Nations on the next steps for negotiations on a future treaty aimed at regulating the trade in conventional weapons and ammunition, ended today with the agreement to hold new talks next year.

Prior negotiations on the ATT, which took place during a Diplomatic Conference in July, ended in failure after several governments, including the United States, blocked the agreement by demanding extra time to agree on a draft text.

Diplomats voted on Wednesday in favour of holding a final UN Conference on the ATT in March 2013, with the controversial stipulation that the text must be agreed under the ‘consensus’ rule. Following intense lobbying by civil society, the resolution contains a proviso if all states are unable to agree to a deal in March, the UN will keep the treaty on its current agenda. This would allow the text to be sent for a final vote at the UN General Assembly later in 2013.

“Every day we are reminded of the need to bring the arms trade under control. In Syria, we have seen the death toll rise well over 30,000 with weapons and ammunition pouring in the country for months now. While agreeing on a deal next year is what’s needed, we do not want any Arms Trade Treaty. We need a treaty that will set tough rules to control the arms trade, that will save lives and truly make the world a better place,” said Jeff Abramson, Director of the Control Arms Secretariat.

New Zealand was among the countries that voted for the resolution. The New Zealand delegation to the UN made a statement earlier this month calling for an ATT “broad in scope, and capable of comprehensively covering the full range of conventional weapons which are traded on the international market including small arms and light weapons as well as ammunition.”

This principled stance was welcomed by New Zealand-based campaigners. “As an influential player in the UN arms control agenda, many small and vulnerable states look to New Zealand to lead the charge in ensuring the highest possible standards are enshrined in the ATT. We commend the New Zealand government for taking this position and call on them to take a leadership role in the March 2013 negotiations,” said Luke Roughton, Control Arms Coordinator at Oxfam New Zealand.

The UN resolution agreed today will base future negotiations on a draft treaty text from the July 2012 Diplomatic Conference. The draft gives a good basis for a strong treaty, but has a few “missing pieces” which must be resolved to ensure it is an effective treaty.

The coalition is working to improve the text around several issues. One major concern is that ammunition, a deadly trade of over $US 4 billion annually which needs to be better regulated and monitored, is not yet properly included. Another clause could exempt weapons transfers from the treaty if they are labelled as part of a “national defense cooperation agreement”, leaving many current and future agreements outside the realm of an ATT. Campaigners are also worried that the threshold for denying an arms transfer is currently set too high, so that some irresponsible deals could still slip through the net.

“It is the voices of the overwhelming majority of states that want a strong treaty which must now be heard. While a treaty which includes the greatest number of states remains the core objective, a robust text will prove far more effective in the future than a compromise text that states subscribe to, but subsequently ignore. The agreement next year must be one that will ultimately make the greatest difference for victims of armed violence,” said Anna McDonald, Head of arms control at Oxfam.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Breaking: Israel Shelling Beit Hanoun Hospital

The Israeli military have started to shell and shoot at Beit Hanoun hospital. There are still 61 medical staff and civilians, three patients and two International Solidarity Movement volunteers trapped inside. More>>

UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation

New UN data shows need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation, child marriage More>>

World News: SRI LANKA: Justice Denied To Two Child Victims Of Rape
There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner. More>>

‘Global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism NGO Urges UN To Condemn ‘global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism

French riot police officers face rioters in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on July 20, 2014. More>>


IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital

On the 21st July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which a M75 rocket was ... More>>

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news