Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN in New York

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Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Pavel Fischer and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Mr. Milan Hovorka made statements at the Final UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

(This article expired 21.03.2014.)

The Final UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty was launched on Monday 18 March 2013 in New York. The aim of the Conference is to find the broadest possible consensus on the Arms Trade Treaty which is supposed to become the first legally binding global instrument regulating international arms trade arms.

Conference of 193 negotiating states has been opened by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who stressed in his speech that the negotiating countries shall follow up the result of UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty of July 2012 and by negotiating consensually acceptable treaty text to complete the Arms Trade Treaty Process which started in 2006.

The Czech Republic is represented by the delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr. Milan Hovorka, composed of representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Director General for security and multilateral issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Pavel Fischer delivered the opening statement on behalf of the Czech Republic at the initial session of the Conference. Mr. Fischer stressed that the Czech Republic considers the Arms Trade Treaty as a cornerstone in the development of arms trade regulation by international law and has introduced national priorities of the Czech Republic at the Conference. Mr. Fischer emphasized respect for human rights and international humanitarian law as key principles of the Arms Trade Treaty. He also emphasized that the Arms Trade Treaty shall create equal conditions for all actors in the area of international arms trade.         

The UN Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty will continue for 9 days until 28 March 2013 under the chairmanship of the Australian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Mr. Peter Woolcott.

 

1/ Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Pavel FISCHER, Political Director, Security and Multilateral Issues Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic at the Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

New York, 18 March, 2013

 

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Firstly,  I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on the election to the post of the President of the Conference and let me assure you that Czech delegation will continue to offer you every support and cooperation during this important Conference.

The Czech Republic considers the opening of the Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty to be an important step towards the successful conclusion of a longstanding effort of the international community to find highly efficient, globally applicable and legally binding international instrument establishing common standards for international trade in arms.

The Czech Republic has constantly supported the idea of the Arms Trade Treaty from the very beginning. We are strongly persuaded that the United Nations Conference on Arms Trade Treaty in July 2012 fell very short of reaching historical consensus on the Treaty text. We can see unprecedented determination of countries from different regions of the world to finalize the process. We have gathered here not to miss this unique opportunity to conclude a globally acceptable Arms Trade Treaty. Indeed, we consider the Treaty as a cornerstone in the development of international norms in the area of global arms trade.

Mr. President

The Czech Republic recognizes the Draft of the Arms Trade Treaty submitted by the President of the Conference on 26 July 2012 as the basis for the upcoming 9 days of negotiations. The draft consists of most of principles the Czech Republic would like to see in the Arms Trade Treaty text.

Taking into account among those principles, and with regard to our national position, we remain committed to the objective of transparent and accountable level playing field which should be equal for all actors involved in global arms trade. We assess that the Treaty has potential to become an interactive framework that involves not only all participating states, but also civil society. Last, but not least, we are convinced that the respect for human rights and for international humanitarian law shall be embodied in the Arms Trade Treaty text as its key principles.

The Czech Republic, as a Member State of the European Union, would like to emphasize the crucial role which regional integration organizations have played in creation of arms trade control mechanisms on regional level. 

The Czech Republic highly appreciates the role played by Ambassador Moritán during the negotiations in July 2012, his competence and personal determination. The Czech Republic also strongly believes that under the presidency of Ambassador Woolcott, who proved his professionalism and diplomatic skills during his previous assignments, our years of hard work and mutually shared interest in achieving the goal will finally materialize in broad consensus of negotiating countries on Arms Trade Treaty.

Thank you.    

 

2/ Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Milan HOVORKA, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic at the Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

New York, 25 March, 2013

 

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First, I would like to express my gratitude for the tremendous efforts you and facilitators have made to prepare a revised draft.

We have taken careful note of the changes you have made to narrow down the differences and gaps we do have.

Second, let me fully align with the position of the EU and endorse the statement delivered by distinguished representative of Ghana on behalf of 103 countries, including the Czech Republic.

Third, regarding the text in front of us, we want to believe that it is going in the right direction towards the ambitious and enforceable treaty. However, it is clear that we are not yet there and that some important efforts are needed to address some of the key shortcomings and missing elements.

Fourth, let me recall that the Czech Republic is aiming at the strong and robust treaty text, which will be effective not only on the paper, but will provide for effective arms trade legal framework with global rules, encompassing also respect for the international humanitarian law, the fight against gender based violence and other key international norms and standards.  

Fifth, as to the scope, we are fervent supporters of the comprehensive and precisely defined scope. We do not want to see any weakening in this respect. On the contrary, I would like to add my delegation’s voice to many who have been calling for the stronger text.

Sixth, and last but not least, let me touch upon the final provisions. It is clear that this section will have to be further elaborated to better reflect international treaty standards and address some shortcomings, in particular those concerning the relation with other international agreements.

For us, the issue of regional integration organizations is of paramount importance. Let us keep in mind the crucial role of regional integration organizations in contributing to the goals and objectives of the foreseen ATT as set in its preamble and principles.

Mr. President, let me assure you of the full support you have from my delegation in the upcoming few days in order to hammer out an agreement to which all would feel a sense of ownership.

Thank you.