19 July 2012
General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Conference

 on the Arms Trade Treaty

10th Meeting (Night)

Chairs of Two Main Committees Negotiating Goals, Scope of Arms Trade Treaty


Brief Delegates on Progress, as UN Conference Nears End of Third Week


Common ground had emerged even as diverging views, multiple proposals and intense debate continued with a view to hammering out a legally-binding conventional arms agreement, delegates were told today, during an update on negotiations, as the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty neared the end of its third week of meetings.

“Much work remains to be done,” said Conference President Roberto Garcia Moritan of Argentina.

The United Kingdom’s International Development Minister Alan Duncan agreed, saying the overwhelming support for the arms trade treaty gave the world great hope, but there was a need to move forward, as time was of essence.

The Conference convened 2 July and, after a two-day delay over procedural matters, delegates had delivered statements during a general exchange of views before breaking into two negotiating groups.  Main Committee 1 has been negotiating the treaty’s goals, objective, criteria, parameters, principles, and preamble, and Main Committee 2 has been covering scope, implementation, and final provisions.  The Conference ends 27 July, when delegates are scheduled to produce a final treaty document.

Updating the delegates on negotiations, Bouchaid El-Oumni (Morocco), Chair of Main Committee 1, said delegates were still working on issues surrounding the treaty’s criteria, and three papers had been produced.  There was strong support for some issues, but also objections and differences of views on other aspects.  The same applied to preambulars and principles, he said.

Paul van den Ijssel ( Netherlands), the Chair of Main Committee 2, said extensive discussions had taken place and he had issued papers.  On the issue of scope, he had issued a revised paper, and hoped to do the same with other topics, including international assistance.  He believed the Committee had identified a number of issues that had a difference of views, including on an implementation support unit. 

While it was impossible to further bridge differences without very intensive consultations, he was convinced that further discussions would lead to finding common ground and language that was suitable to all.

The Main Committees will meet again Friday, 20 July, at 10 a.m. to continue their negotiations.

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For information media • not an official record