I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Georgia align themselves with this statement.
The EU supports the principles of cooperation, responsibility, and transparency in the international arms trade, enshrined in the Arms Trade Treaty. Transparency and reporting are key elements leading to confidence building among States and ensuring accountability for the full and effective implementation of the Treaty. Reporting on arms exports and imports represents one of the cornerstone obligations of the ATT. We therefore reiterate our call on all States Parties to fulfil their reporting obligations as per Article 13.3 of the Treaty in a timely manner. In the same vein, we encourage all States Parties to examine the option of non-confidential reporting, which increases the relevance of the reports and facilitates accountability for export decisions. The EU supports the changes proposed to the revised Initial and Annual reporting template, and hopes the CSP 7 can agree to these proposals from the Working Group on Transparency and Reporting.
It is highly regrettable that the number of annual reports submitted continues to decrease. We commend all States Parties that have already filed their annual report for 2020 and encourage others to follow suit without delay, and to examine sharing their reports publicly, taking into consideration the existing national practices that each State Party has to encounter. The 22nd EU Annual Report on exports of military technology and equipment was released in October 2020 and is publicly available in the form of a searchable online database on the website of the European External Action Service. This form of searchable online database has been of great benefit to the EU in enhancing transparency and reporting and we encourage other regional and national bodies to implement similar systems. The EU annual report displays the number and value of authorized exports for all destination countries, the type of military technology involved and the number of denials per type of military technology and destination country, as well as the criteria that were invoked as the reason for the denial. The EU annual report for the year 2020 is being finalised and will become public shortly.
The EU stands ready to support States requiring assistance and in this regard we recall that the current EU ATT Outreach Program has been extended to January 2022. Among the initiatives that can be developed under this Program are those aiming at strengthening national reporting capabilities and making national reporting procedures more efficient, in line with the provisions of the Treaty. States in need are also encouraged to make good use of the Voluntary Trust Fund for the purpose of establishing or improving their reporting capabilities.
Thank you, Mr. President