Norway welcomes start of negotiations on new arms trade treaty

11/2/2009 // Norway supports a resolution in the UN General Assembly’s First Committee calling for the immediate start of negotiations on a new international arms trade treaty. “An effective, robust framework that regulates the conventional arms trade would be an important step forward in efforts to combat armed violence,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre on Friday 30 October.

The purpose of a new international arms trade treaty (ATT) would be to establish common rules for trade in conventional arms that are binding on all states.

“In Norway’s view, it is important that an arms trade treaty helps to reduce the availability of conventional arms and ammunition that can be used in violation of international humanitarian law and human rights. We will therefore seek to ensure that the treaty makes arms exporters and importers responsible for ensuring that they do not transfer arms that can subsequently be used in contravention of international law,” said Mr Støre.

"Every day 2 000 people are killed by armed violence. The uncontrolled flow of weapons is a major reason for this,” said Foreign Minister Støre.

Norway is concerned that as many as possible participate in the negotiations on a new treaty, but it is also important that no one country is able to block an agreed outcome.

Norway has also encouraged civil society actors, humanitarian actors and UN field organisations to play an active and critical role in the ATT process, and views their participation as essential to the legitimacy of the process.


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