European Union External Action

Arms Trade Treaty - EU Key Messages - Working Group on Treaty Universalisation

Geneva, 28/04/2021 - 15:33, UNIQUE ID: 210428_19
Statements on behalf of the EU

Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Montenegro[*], Serbia* and Albania*, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.

At the outset, we want to thank you, Mr. President, for carrying out this important intersessional work, and for your leadership during your Presidency. These are exceptional times, therefore efforts to promote the Arms Trade Treaty and its universalization are challenging for all. Your efforts in this regard are even more appreciated.

We want to thank the representatives of civil society, many of whom are with us today, for their relentless dedication to promoting the ATT. Civil society organizations continued over the past year to sustain targeted activities at national and regional levels in support of ATT universalization, providing targeted advocacy and information sharing as well as public pressure to maintain the prioritization of the Treaty on States’ political agendas.

We would particularly like to welcome those States Parties that ratified or acceded to the Treaty in 2020: Namibia, China, Sao Tome and Principe, Afghanistan and Niue. Your accession is proof of the continuous and increasing relevance of the ATT, and brings full universalization of our commonly agreed norms a step closer.

Mr. President,

It is our common goal to establish the highest standards of the international trade in conventional arms, and to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and ammunition and prevent their diversion. We reiterate our call on all UN Member States, especially the major arms importers, exporters and transit States, to sign, ratify or accede to the ATT without further delay. The EU urges others to increase our collective engagement and outreach efforts to non-State Parties, underlining the benefits of joining the ATT, thus contributing to international and regional peace and stability.

We are reasonably encouraged with ATT universalization progress to date. Nevertheless, we continue to believe that more can be done. The EU and its Member States continue to play an active role in ATT universalisation efforts through the various EU Outreach Programmes and in their bilateral dialogues on disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that we will fund the publication of the ATT Universalization Toolkit. The Universalisation Toolkit was prepared by the ATT Working Group on Treaty Universalization (WGTU), and was adopted by States Parties at the Fifth Conference of States Parties (CSP5) to the Arms Trade Treaty in August 2019. With the printing of the toolkit in a brochure ahead of the Seventh Conference of States Parties, we join the initiative of the Republic of Korea, who translated this Toolkit into several Asian languages. We hope that the printed toolkit will be further used in universalisation outreach activities and will help our ambition.

Thank you, Mr. President

[*] Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.