France to ratify Arms Trade Treaty (December 13, 2013)


After the Senate in October, the National Assembly on 12 December authorized France to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, signed on 3 June. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed the wish that the ratification would be carried out swiftly, to signal France’s commitment to arms control.

Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 2 April 2013, the text is the first major global treaty of the 21st century in the field of international security and arms control. To date, it has been signed by 115 states, including the 28 EU member states and the United States. Nine states have ratified it. Our diplomacy is playing an active role to secure the adhesion of all the major players in the global arms market and to enable it to come into force as soon as possible. At the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa, we obtained a commitment from the African states to sign up to it quickly. Today we are ready to lend assistance with its implementation.

The Arms Trade Treaty is an additional step towards the ultimate goal of general and complete disarmament. It provides for the establishment by the states of a system for monitoring transfers (conventional weapons, munitions, spare parts and components) on the basis of specific criteria and bearing in mind human rights and international humanitarian law. Finally, it bans transfers if they may give rise to war crimes, genocide and violations of international commitments or of embargo decisions taken by the UN Security Council.