Arms Trade Treaty: Statement by Foreign Minister Westerwelle

Jun 3, 2013

(Statement as delivered by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on the occasion of the signing of the Arms Trade Treaty, 3 June 201)

"Mr Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

German Foreign Policy is a policy for peace. The German government has made disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation a political priority. We are committed to the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Conventional arms control deserves our particular attention. Conventional arms are at the root of armed violence in many parts of the world today. Their control is a central pillar of our preventive security policy.

In order to separate legitimate trade in military equipment from illicit trafficking, states had to agree on a binding treaty.

Germany has fought hard for a strong, robust and effective Arms Trade Treaty and we would have been willing to go one step further.

We are proud of the result we have achieved together with our partners. This is a good treaty.

It covers the most important conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons, and their ammunitions.

The Arms Trade Treaty will improve transparency and increase accountability in the international arms trade.

This treaty can save lives. It will reduce human suffering and make the world a safer place.

Excellencies,

Our efforts must continue. The Arms Trade Treaty can only make a real difference if it is fully implemented on a global scale.

Our first task is to push for its early entry into force. My government already adopted a draft ratification law. The German parliament will start its deliberations this week.

Germany will strongly advocate compliance with the Arms Trade Treaty. We acknowledge that for many countries the implementation of the treaty can represent a challenge. Germany is ready to assist those countries.

To inject life into the Arms Trade Treaty we must all join forces. The millions of people suffering from the consequences of unregulated trade in conventional arms place their hopes in us. We must work together to seize this historic opportunity and make this Treaty a success.

Thank you."

© 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.