The Czech Republic voted for adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty
04.04.2013 / 10:59
The General Assembly of the UN approved the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) resolution on April 2, 2013.
Conclusion of the ATT represents a milestone in the field of the conventional arms export control. The purpose of the treaty is to set common international standards for international trade in conventional arms, prevent illicit trade in conventional arms and avoid their abuse.
Adoption of the common rules for arms trade reflects the interest of the Czech Republic. The Arms Trade Treaty presents a beneficial step for European and Czech producers who seek use in international markets. The content of the ATT obliges signatory countries to raise the level of transparency in the arms trade.
The Czech Republic voted for passing of the Arms Trade Treaty as well as other members of the European Union. 154 UN member states including USA voted in favor of the ATT. Iran, Syria and North Korea voted against this treaty. Iran, Syria and North Korea blocked the conclusion of the ATT by consensus on the last day of the conference, thus enforced adoption of the Treaty in a form of a resolution. Russian Federation and China, together with 21 other countries, abstained from the vote and 13 countries didn´t participate in the voting.
The Czech Republic pushed for human rights and international humanitarian law principles as key principles of the treaty during the negotiation. From the business point of view the ATT guarantees that the competitors from third countries will respect the basic rules of the arms trade.
The treaty applies to all conventional arms stated in the UN Register of Conventional Arms (battle tanks, armored battle vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, battle aircrafts, combat helicopters, battleships, rockets and launching systems) as well as small arms and light weapons. It is assumed that control system and regulation of export of ammunition which wasn´t part of the ATT, will some countries introduce on a national level.
The negotiation process began in 2008. Special UN Conference on the ATT failed in reaching consensus on the ATT. Final conference took place between 18th and 28th of March 2013 in New York. Even though a strong draft ATT text was negotiated, consensus among all negotiating countries wasn´t reached. Therefore the Czech Republic together with 98 other UN member countries introduced a draft resolution on the ATT for adoption by the UN General Assembly. Approved resolution adopts draft ATT text, asks the UN Secretary-General to open the ATT for signature starting from June 3, 2013 and appeals to all countries for signing and ratification at their earliest convenience.
The ATT comes into force when 50 UN member states ratify it.