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During this thematic debate on Conventional Arms

Mr. Chairman,

 

During this thematic debate on Conventional Arms, my delegation would like to focus on the Arms Trade Treaty which is the single most critical issue ahead of us.

At the outset, I would like to congratulate Ambassador Moritan of Argentina for his outstanding paper with recommendations which lay the foundations for a negotiating a global Arms Trade Treaty in July 2012.  The time is drawing close and there has to be speedy action and political commitment to ensure a robust and effective treaty in the coming months. 

My delegation would like to note that important areas of world trade between United Nations Member States are covered by rules that bind countries into agreed conduct, but they are not bound by rules when transferring weapons. A legally binding uniform agreement therefore would seek to harmonize existing diverse national laws on the trade in armaments and ammunition, which presently obscure transparency and trust. The differences between them have created legal loopholes which have for decades resulted in ready availability of weapons that have led to human suffering, repression, crime and terror among civilian populations. As a result there have been gross human rights abuse and impeded economic development. The statistics are well known: one person dies every minute (with an estimated 740,000 deaths annually worldwide).

Kazakhstan joins the call made by the overwhelming majority of delegations, during the General Debate of this Committee, for a comprehensive and legally-binding international treaty which promote the goals and objectives of the United Nations Charter, establishes the highest common global standards for the import, export, and transfer, production and brokering of conventional arms, with the objective of promoting transparency and accountability to the optimum level. 

We therefore need to draft a strong ATT that would contribute to international and regional peace, security and stability by preventing international transfers of conventional arms that contribute to or facilitate human suffering, serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. It should prevent violations of United Nations Security Council sanctions and arms, embargoes and other international obligations, armed conflict. Furthermore, the Treaty should avert arms transfers that trigger displacement of people, organized crime, terrorist acts and thereby undermining peace, reconciliation, safety, security, stability.

Kazakhstan recognizes the independent sovereignty of states and their right to self defence, At the same time, we need to clearly demarcate regulations for all kinds of conventional arms: military vehicles, artillery systems, military aircraft and helicopters (manned or unmanned), naval vessels (surface and submarine vessels manned or equipped for military use), missiles and missile systems (guided or unguided), small arms. The latter could be incorporated in the Treaty and if not included, then the Programme of Action Small Arms and should be strengthened. While some Member States opt for the option of promoting trust and transparency, Kazakhstan is of the view that this would not be adequate and calls for a legally binding treaty which could lead to regional and national security, investments and development in all countries, especially those experiencing conflict and high levels of violence, and their ability to attain the MDGs, and consequently human advancement and preservation even of our depleting environmental resources.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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