Open-ended Working Group Towards an Arms Trade Treaty: establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms
At the conclusion of its second working session of 2009 and in accordance with the mandate established by UNGA resolution 63/240, on July 17, the open-ended working group on the Arms Trade Treaty adopted a report for the UNSG and the First Committee on Disarmament and International Security.
Following the work conducted by the open-ended group of government experts in 2008, the adoption of this report marks a new step forward in the process leading toward an arms trade treaty, which began in 2006 following an active campaign by NGOs. It demonstrates a now-established consensus on the relevance of this process and on the reality of the problems it is designed to remedy.
The aim of a treaty governing the trade of conventional weapons is to better regulate and introduce ethics into this trade by enhancing States’ accountability and establishing greater transparency in arms transfers. It must help prevent the dangers of national and regional destabilization, the exacerbation of conflicts, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and threats to economic and social development.
The EU has already established a system to control exports of military equipment and technology, reinforced by the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP adopted on December 8, 2008, during France’s EU presidency.
On the sidelines of this effort, France financed the organization of an event to review the result of EU seminars promoting the treaty organized in Dakar in April and in Mexico in June by UNIDIR. These seminars are the first in a series of six regional seminars, the fruit of a common action launched by the French EU Presidency in 2008.