Arms Trade Treaty: Statement by Ambassador Ranau

Jul 26, 2012

(Near verbatim statement as delivered by Ambassador Jörg Ranau, Head of the German Delegation, at the Plenary discussion of the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty)

Mr. President,

We thank you and your team for the tremendous efforts you undertook during the last days and nights.

I align myself with the statement made earlier by the European Union.

With less than 24 hours left before this conference is to agree on an Arms Trade Treaty, we believe that it is high time to find a compromise text that will address the challenges related to the international transfer of conventional arms. We are here to fulfill the mandate that we set ourselves by agreeing on General Assembly Resolution 64/48.

Mr. President,

Our goal is a treaty with high standards to become an obligatory global benchmark.

Your first official draft of this afternoon presents a substantial improvement of the first informal draft of July 24th. You achieved balancing it to a good extent. However, in our view we could work further towards compromise in its entirety. My delegation believes it important that the following elements are reflected in an ATT:

·         Firstly, we believe that ammunition should be recognized as a stand-alone category within the section on Scope. Nevertheless I must admit that the way of addressing ammunition has certainly improved and welcome that now export authorizations on this material must be checked against the criteria catalogue. However we advocate for the whole Art. 4 including paragraph 6 to be applied to ammunition. We must recall, in the end it is ammunition that keeps conflicts going on and many delegations in this room have constantly argued in favor of its inclusion. - We certainly regret that the wider category of munitions cannot be found in the present draft-treaty any more.

·         Secondly, we also think that exports of parts and components should also be subject to the whole criteria set under Article 4.

·         Thirdly, on the criteria section we request the following amendments to be made:

a.      A minor change in drafting needs to be applied to Article 4 paragraph 1. In order to be in conformity with the article 1.c on goals and objectives, the last part of the sentence would need to be redrafted to read “would contribute to or undermine international or regional peace, security and stability.”

b.     For the sake of clarity, the same language should be inserted in the last line of Article 4 paragraph 5, so that in case of a substantial risk of undermining international or regional peace, security and stability export shall also not be authorized.

Mr. President,

Given the efforts that we made during the last years and especially during the last nearly 4 weeks, we hope that an ATT will enjoy not only universality but maintain its relevance for the coming decades.  

·         Therefore, we must make sure that an ATT is future proof.  We must not set the threshold for amendments too high. It must be possible, when necessary, to amend this Treaty to keep it relevant. That is why we request a two-thirds quota to be set as a default in Article 20 paragraph 3.

Mr. President,

·         Article 5 paragraph 2 is clearly limiting the application of the Arms Trade Treaty. There might be good reasons to do so and we would certainly recognize the importance that some delegations attach to this paragraph. However, let us not forget that we are trying to negotiate a strong and robust ATT. Let me remind everybody, that the underlying assumption with any international Treaty is that State parties will perform it in good faith. Therefore, we have to make sure that the provisions in this paragraph are applied in accordance with the goals and objectives of the Treaty. We deem it indispensable that exactly this language “in accordance with the goals and objectives” is introduced in both sentences.

Mr. President,

·         Finally, we believe that regional economic integration organizations, like the one that my country is a member of, play a significant role in the matter that we discuss here.  They have real obligations and they add to the effectiveness of the treaty and thus an added value for their members as well as for all States Parties to the treaty. Such organizations exist in different regions of the world. They become increasingly important. Not to recognize their relevance and excluding them would be a serious mistake. Banning such organizations from joining an ATT is both contravening the facts on the ground and would be a serious obstacle for the overall functioning of an ATT. Accession to the treaty by EU-member states will become more complicated if the EU cannot be party of the treaty itself. Let us not hamper the implementation of an ATT by preventing regional organizations, for political reasons of a bilateral nature - that have nothing to do with the multilateral framework of the ATT - from becoming a Party to this Treaty. We strongly urge you to insert the paragraph which provides for regional organizations to join the Treaty.

Mr. President,

We are convinced that the suggestions I made will find the support of a majority of States in the room. Now let us make a joint effort to conclude our negotiations in a timely and constructive manner.

Mr. President,

You can count on our continuous support.

© GermanyUN

Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Disarmament and arms control are central elements of the global security architecture. They are not concerns of the past, rather, pressing challenges of the present and of the future.

See our latest on flickr...

Watch our latest on youtube...