New York

02 April 2013

Secretary-General's Statement on the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty

I wholeheartedly welcome the adoption, today, of a first-ever Arms Trade Treaty by the General Assembly. It is a historic diplomatic achievement - the culmination of long-held dreams and many years of effort.
This is a victory for the world’s people.
The ATT will make it more difficult for deadly weapons to be diverted into the illicit market and it will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms.
It will be a powerful new tool in our efforts to prevent grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law. And it will provide much-needed momentum for other global disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.
I applaud States for their willingness to compromise on a number of complex issues, thus making it possible for us to have a balanced and robust treaty text.
I commend the members of civil society for the critical role they played from the inception of this process, through their expert contributions and enthusiastic support.
I congratulate Ambassador Peter Woolcott of Australia for the open and transparent manner in which he conducted his impressive presidency of the Final Conference that produced the text of the treaty adopted today.
I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to Ambassador Roberto García Moritán of Argentina who has committed years of unwavering leadership of the ATT process.
The adoption of this treaty demonstrates the great things that can be achieved when governments and civil society work together through the United Nations. 
I call on all governments to join forces with civil society to ensure its full and effective implementation.
The United Nations will provide its full support as we strive to fulfil the great promise of this landmark global instrument.