High-Level-Event “The Arms Trade Treaty: towards entry into force”: Statement by Mr. Rolf Nikel, Federal Government Commissioner for Arms Control and Disarmament, German Foreign Office

Sep 25, 2013

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

Disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation are key priorities of the German Government.

Conventional arms are at the root of armed violence in many parts of the world today. Controlling their flows is an essential pillar of preventive security policy as is our commitment to a nuclear weapon free world.

Our concept of preventive security policy attaches great importance to the United Nations – a UN that is fully capable to address the present day challenges in the field of security, disarmament and arms control.

We are satisfied that agreement could be reached on a strong, robust and effective Arms Trade Treaty. It is the first global instrument in this field negotiated under UN auspices in a decade.

The Arms Trade Treaty is a good treaty. It will establish strong international norms, to prevent both irresponsible and illicit trade in conventional arms.

It will also 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.

We are proud of the result we have achieved together. Yet, the Arms Trade Treaty will only make a real difference if it is fullyimplemented on a global scale. Germany wants to contribute to the Treaty’s early entry into force.

On June 3rd,  Foreign Minister Westerwelle signed this Treaty on behalf of the German Government.

Today, I am happy to announce that both chambers of the German Parliament have approved ratification of the Treaty. Germany can now deposit the instrument of ratification once the Council of the European Union has taken the relevant decision. Thus we will be among the first States to ratify.

Germany welcomes all efforts undertaken to expedite the Treaty’s early entry into force. We call upon the other signatories to do their part towards this noble objective. And we strongly urge all States to adhere to the Treaties’ provisions.

For many countries the implementation of the Treaty’s obligations may represent a challenge. Germany is ready to assist those countries through the recently created UN Trust Facility UNSCAR.

We call upon partners to contribute to UNSCAR. Effective ratification and implementation assistance is crucial.

The millions of people suffering from the consequences of unregulated trade in conventional arms place their hopes in us. We must not deceive them.

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.