I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Montenegro[*], Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
First of all, let me congratulate you on assuming the Presidency of the Arms Trade Treaty and assure you of the EU's full support and active contribution to the preparations of the Sixth Conference of States Parties (CSP6) to be held in August 2020 in Geneva.
The ATT is a key international instrument to establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating the international arms trade, to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and ammunition, and prevent diversion, thus contributing to global and regional peace and security and reducing human suffering. The EU and its Member States fully support the objectives of the ATT and will continue to do their utmost to promote its universalisation and full and effective implementation. We have from the start supported the discussions in the three Working Groups on universalisation, effective Treaty implementation, and transparency and reporting, and welcome the joint efforts made to date in providing concrete guidance to States Parties for meeting their obligations under this important Treaty.
Introduction of theme for the Argentinean Presidency
We thank you for your presentation, Mr. President, and welcome this year’s thematic focus on “transparency and information exchange” which should help us to tackle among others the complex challenge of diversion. The exchange of export and import data, best practices and other relevant information among exporting, importing and transit States provides a valuable source for national export control authorities and can also assist in strengthening regional cooperation, confidence among States and capacity building. The EU would like to express its support for the development of a platform to facilitate further exchange of information on diversion. We recall that preventing diversion is one of the primary goals of the Treaty under Article 11. The EU will support your efforts towards achieving a concrete outcome at the Sixth Conference of States Parties.
Voluntary Trust Fund
We fully recognise the key role of the ATT Voluntary Trust Fund in providing assistance to States Parties for strengthening their national capacities for effective Treaty implementation and we invite all States Parties and those aspiring to accede to the ATT to make further use of this instrument. We are pleased that this important instrument has steadily grown in size and that there is broad interest from countries to receive assistance. We welcome the many generous contributions to the VTF, including most recently by three EU Member States – Poland, Portugal and Slovenia – and encourage all donors to consider further donations.
Financial situation of the ATT
The EU would like to express its deep concern over the increasingly critical financial situation of the Arms Trade Treaty. This situation, caused by the continued accumulation of non- payment by up to one third of States, could have serious consequences for institutional stability of the Treaty.
We fully support the efforts of the President and the Management Committee to further address this issue and encourage them to enforce the implementation of the ATT Financial Rules in full, which have been adopted for the sake of ensuring the effective functioning of the Treaty and its institutions.
We once again urge all States, which have not yet done so, to pay their dues in full and on time and to settle their outstanding arrears without further delay.
Thank you, Mr. President
[*] Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.