Towards a New International Arms Trade Treaty

– Every day 2,000 people die from armed violence. Only an agreement which commits states to strict criteria for arms, is acceptable for Norway, “said Secretary of State Gry Larsen.

The Norwegian delegation to the ATT talks report a large commitment from several countries.The pace at the first meeting has been higher than many expected. This can be explained by the countries affected by the irresponsible and poorly regulated arms trade has now set clear requirements for a strong treaty. It is expected that the next round of negotiations will be held in February 2011, characterized by more detailed discussion about what an international arms trade treaty should contain.

– Arms deal affect issues that are very sensitive to many countries and many fear that the agreement will prevent them from obtaining the weapons they need to meet their legitimate defense needs. It is therefore important that we stay focused on main goal, namely to bind the contract to specific requirement to make sure weapons shall not be used to violate human rights, “said Gry Larsen.

UN General Assembly agreed on a negotiating mandate for an arms deal in last fall. The mandate provides chance for long negotiations over the next two years, ending with a diplomatic conference in 2012. If they come to an agreement, it will be the first time they adopt a legally binding agreement for the regulation of conventional weapons at the global level.

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