With the final round of negotiations from March 18 to 28 to reach consensus on an Arms Trade Treaty, the United States of America today voiced conditional US support for UN arms trade treaty.
In his remarks in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry says the US United States could only be party to an Arms Trade Treaty that addresses international transfers of conventional arms solely and does not impose any new requirements on the U.S. domestic trade in firearms or on U.S. exporters.
“We will not support any treaty that would be inconsistent with U.S. law and the rights of American citizens under our Constitution, including the Second Amendment.” – Secretary Kerry
United States is the world’s No. 1 arms manufacturer. However, Secretary Kerry highlighted that US would not accept any treaty that imposed new limits on US citizens’ right to bear arms.
US Supports the Arms Trade Treaty
According to Secretary Kerry, the United States looks forward to working with its international partners at the upcoming conference from March 18-28 to reach consensus on an Arms Trade Treaty that advances global security and respects national sovereignty and the legitimate arms trade.
The US supported and actively participated in negotiations on an Arms Trade Treaty held at the United Nations in July 2012.
He notes the negotiations made considerable progress, but ended before a treaty could be concluded.
“Accordingly, the United States supported a UN General Assembly resolution December 24, 2012 to convene the conference this month to build on those efforts.” – Secretary Kerry
US calls for effective treaty that improves global security
Secretary Kerry says the United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability.
He cites an effective treaty recognizes that each nation must tailor and enforce its own national export and import control mechanisms can generate the participation of a broad majority of states, help stem the illicit flow of conventional arms across international borders, and have important humanitarian benefits.
He points out that while the international arms trade affects every country, over one hundred states today do not have a system for control of international conventional arms transfers.
US supports a treaty that will bring all countries closer to existing international best practices.
“The international conventional arms trade is, and will continue to be, a legitimate commercial activity.” – Secretary Kerry
He adds that responsible nations should have in place control systems that will help reduce the risk that a transfer of conventional arms will be used to carry out the world’s worst crimes, including those involving terrorism, and serious human rights violations.
“I wish the conference well and hope that we can reach consensus on a treaty that improves global security, advances our humanitarian goals, and enhances U.S. national security.” – Secretary Kerry
Two-thirds of the world’s countries support a global Arms Trade Treaty.
UN: Adoption of the ATT “is the only path to more accountability, openness and transparency in the arms trade”
This week, 193 Member States will seek to reach agreement on Arms Trade Treaty.
The UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will start on 18 March in New York which brings Member States together to continue negotiations on what is seen as the most important initiative ever regarding conventional arms regulation within the UN.
UN asserts that adoption of the ATT “is the only path to more accountability, openness and transparency in the arms trade.”
According to UN, 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. The world’s body reports that the armed violence that drove them from their homes was fuelled by the widespread availability and misuse of weapons.
Four weeks of negotiations ended in July 2012 without agreement.