One more chance given to the Arms Trade Treaty

There is a new chance to reach an Arms Trade Treaty, since the First Committee of the General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it decides to convene a new UN conference in March 2013. It is meant to be the final one to put pressure on its success. The Conference is not starting from scratch, but continues on the basis of last July’s draft treaty text. The conference can only achieve results by consensus, which is still possible. Some countries have doubted this and have been ready to take the process directly to the General Assembly or completely outside the UN. This would lead to a strong treaty, which would be still ineffective because many big arms-exporting countries would remain outside it for a long time. There are therefore good reasons for continuing to strive for a result trough the conference road.The support from co-sponsors and clear majority of votes in favour give us good possibilities to achieve a treaty. 103 Member States co-sponsored the resolution and 157 voted in favour. However, the March Conference will not be a walk in the park. The goal is to improve the July draft text, but not open it entirely and start the negotiations from scratch. The President of the next Conference will start consultations as soon as he or she is nominated in order to give a good chance to the conference to achieve a treaty. I sincerely hope that Ambassador Moritán can continue his excellent work as the President of the Conference.

The co-authors of the ATT process including Finland have continued the process after July’s conference and are going to continue in that role. For Finland the ATT is an important priority and I am hopeful that in 2013 we have a strong international Arms Trade Treaty, which will be ratified by as many countries as possible. Finland should be one of the first ones to do so.