I thank the organizers for bringing us together to celebrate the first anniversary of the adoption by the General Assembly of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
To date, this landmark agreement has been signed by 118 Member States.
Today I commend the following Member States for depositing their instruments of ratification: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
This more than doubles the number of ATT ratifications and is a big step towards the Treaty’s entry into force.
I encourage all other States to sign and ratify the ATT without delay.
As we mark this milestone one year after adoption of the Treaty in the General Assembly, let us remember two things.
First, we must not forget the difference this treaty will make, if well implemented, for the lives of so many. Civilians are still being killed, maimed, or driven from their homelands because weapons and ammunition remain in the hands of warlords, terrorists, human right abusers and organized criminal gangs. Every day, we witness the human cost of the irresponsible transfer of weapons.
As an organization providing much-needed support and assistance around the world, we face every day huge challenges and profound setbacks that can ultimately be traced to the consequences of the poorly regulated trade in weaponry. It hinders our efforts
- to support peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding efforts;
- to monitor sanctions and arms embargoes;
- to promote social and economic development;
- to provide humanitarian aid and protect children and civilians;
- to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment; and
- to foster the rule of law.
The second thing to be very aware of, is that this robust Arms Trade Treaty is living proof that good things can be achieved when governments and civil society work together through the United Nations. The ATT can therefore also be a catalyst for progress in so many other areas where the needs for global action are just as urgent.
The opportunity denied to millions of people because of armed insecurity and massive misuse of weapons, should compel all of us to promote the ATT. The cause of peace, security and human dignity for all can be well served through the adoption of the ATT by each and every Member State.