Lack of consensus at the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (March 29, 2013)


France regrets the impossibility of coming up with a consensus to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty at the conference that ended on March 28. It emphasizes that this deadlock was due to three countries subject to sanctions whose attitude toward the international community has long been one of defiance and provocation.

The negotiations were aimed a achieving a crucial objective: giving the international community, for the first time, an ambitious and effective binding legal instrument to regulate the arms trade.

We want to pay tribute to the determination of Ambassador Woolcott, who efficiently presided over the efforts. The draft treaty developed by the UN is indeed a good text. It is a major step forward with respect to international humanitarian law and human rights, key criteria that the states parties would pledge to respect in regulating weapons transfers through national control mechanisms.

This conference is the culmination of a long process, begun in 2006 and in which France played a leading role with the support of civil society. We applaud the high level of cooperation with nongovernmental organizations and hail their unwavering commitment.

It will be up to the UN General Assembly to move forward in the coming days on a vote to preserve the results of these negotiations.