Statement by Axel Zeidler, Head of the German Delegation to the Preparatory Committee on the Arms Trade Treaty

Jul 15, 2011

At the outset I would like to commend your tireless efforts in guiding us through the heavy waters of a number of controversial issues during the last days. Furthermore, let me thank you for your comprehensive revised paper that you have presented to us yesterday. We consider it to be a solid basis on which to build further our joint efforts . Ambition, clarity in structure and realism have to go hand in hand when considering the elaboration of an Arms Trade Treaty that aims at being effective, robust and implementable. My delegation remains fully committed to the ongoing process and is looking forward to having an ATT concluded in 2012.

My delegation fully associates itself with the comments made by the EU delegation.

Welcoming the gist of your revised paper, which allows us to see the whole picture of elements of an ATT that need to be considered, I would like to offer some preliminary remarks at this stage.

For harmonious implementation of an ATT it is of paramount importance that such an ATT is clear and consistent in terminology. There is still room for improvement in this regard in the text further down the road leading towards a Treaty, especially regarding the question, which provisions reasonably should be applied to what kind of transaction. For the purpose of clarity when implementing an ATT a more detailed list of the conventional arms as an annex to the treaty should be considered, including the possibility of an ATT having such an annex revised by simplified procedures.

We believe that an ATT in order to be robust and implementable needs to include lean and stringent provisions for implementation, i.e. for instance no duplication of licencing requirements such as technology transfers and manufacturing under foreign licence or transfer of title and physical movement across national borders. For the same reasons the Treaty should also keep recording and reporting requirements limited to a reasonable level. It should neither regulate transfers occurring exclusively within a State, nor transfers by a State out of its territory where those items are intended for its use and remain under its control, nor domestic gun ownership.

Mr. Chairman, my delegation continues to attach great importance to the inclusion of small arms and light weapons without exceptions as promoted by some delegations. Furthermore, I would like to echo the request by many delegations to have included in the scope of an ATT not only ammunitions but also munitions.

Let me conclude by underlining each State's responsibility in concrete transactions. For each and every transaction there is an importing state and an exporting state, and in many cases also a transit state. All of them will have to apply the respective minimum common international standards to be agreed upon in an ATT.

We are confident that you will continue to lead us through the discussions and deliberations ahead of us with your wisdom, patience and good sense of humor as you have always done so far.

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