Norway Working for International Arms Trade Treaty

“Irresponsible and illegal trade in arms costs many lives and causes great suffering every year. When the international negotiations on an international arms trade treaty start up again in New York, Norway will be at the forefront of efforts to ensure a strong and robust agreement,” said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.

On Monday 18 March, a new round of negotiations on trade in conventional arms (the Arms Trade Treaty) starts at the UN headquarters in New York. The negotiations will continue until 28 March.

The previous round of negotiations in July 2012 stranded due to a failure to reach agreement and the request by some parties, for example the US, for more time.

“The new round of negotiations may be the last one on this treaty under the auspices of the UN. It is therefore vital that all parties do their utmost to move negotiations forward. A strong agreement will reduce the humanitarian consequences associated with irresponsible and illegal trade in weapons,” said Mr Eide.

The negotiations will build on the progress made during the July conference. Again, it will be necessary for all UN members to agree on the text of the treaty. Among the issues where agreement has not yet been reached are the types of weapons to be included, the extent to which ammunition should be included, and the criteria for assessing export licences.

“We will do all that we can to bring about a good agreement. However there is no doubt that negotiations this time too will be difficult, due to the requirement for full agreement and the many different interests at stake. Successful negotiations would be an important milestone in the efforts to reduce armed violence at the global level and for the UN’s reputation in the area of disarmament and arms control,” said Mr Eide.

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