ATT Gets Support from Top UN Brass
SG, DSG endorse treaty to monitor illegal weapons trade
Courtesy of UN
The United Nations has taken another step towards the ratification of a treaty that will give international institutions more power to curtail the illegal trade of small arms and light weapons, as UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson speaking out in support of the treaty, and encouraging member states to embrace a policy that they say can prevent the deaths of more than half a million people, most of them civilians, each year.
“Illicit small arms remain the weapons of choice for those who seek to challenge legitimate State power, to spread fear and insecurity, or to pursue criminal goals,” reads a statement issued by Mr. Ban and delivered by Mr. Eliasson. “An Arms Trade Treaty is long overdue…I urge you to redouble efforts to agree on a robust ‘ATT’ as soon as possible.”
This endorsement for a strong arms trade treaty from the SG comes exactly one month after the closing of a conference on the matter held in July at United Nations headquarters, where delegates debated the finer points of a treaty and the best methods for implementation.
Such a treaty would regulate international trade in conventional weapons through a gun registration process that monitors the movement of guns to ensure that they do not, with the support of any UN member state government, wind up in the hands of militant groups or gangs.
“There needs to be a greater understanding of what is currently in Libya, and what's currently in Syria so that the policies of the future can be able to tackle those threats,” said Nicolas Florquin, a Senior Researcher for the UN’s Small Arms Survey. “I think a lot of the governments are not transparent about their transfers, and that's why we tried to do both, in terms of authorized transfers, but also in terms of these conflict areas.”