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We got the Arms Trade Treaty, now let's make it work

3.4.2013


MEP Tarja Cronberg welcomes the new Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) adopted on Tuesday 2 April in New York emphasizing that as many states as possible should ratify it. 'However, the job does not end here', she reminds. 'We need to continue working to nudge the countries who abstained and who voted against the treaty to join.'

In the United Nations General Assembly in New York, 154 states voted in favour of adopting the Arms Trade Treaty but currently the major arms exporters such as India, Russia, and China remain outside the treaty by absenting from voting. Also the countries that seek to import conventional weapons and have a very bad record on human rights - Iran, Syria, and North Korea - chose to oppose the treaty.

The treaty will be open for ratifications as of 3 June. 'One of the crucial stepping stones for the future of the ATT is its swift ratification by the US Congress', Cronberg says.

For the EU the job is not limited to ratification by the member states. 'The adopted ATT text is not perfect but it can still be amended. The EU needs to work on its own common standards and procedures for arms transfers and improve them even further so they can be help in the future improvement of the ATT. Human rights, transfers of ammunition, and reporting, are the issues where more work needs to be done', Cronberg stresses.

The ATT was adopted on Tuesday with 154 in favour, 3 against and 23 abstentions. When it enters into force after 50 ratifications it will prohibit states from transferring conventional weapons to countries when they know those weapons will be used to commit or facilitate genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

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