New York

03 June 2013

Secretary-General's Remarks at a Reception Marking the Opening of the Arms Trade Treaty for Signature

I thank the Governments of Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Norway for hosting this reception.

This is indeed an historic moment.

I am encouraged that so many Governments signed the Arms Trade Treaty on the first day possible – and that so many were represented at such a high political level.

Millions of people live in fear because of the consequences of poorly regulated international arms transfers.

That is the reality today – and you are seeking to change it for good.

Back in March I said that the absence of regulations made no sense. 

We had regulations for the global trade in armchairs, but not the global trade in arms. 

You have set a new global standard with an Arms Trade Treaty that is robust and specific.

That success belongs to you:  Governments, civil society, regional organizations, and a host of international organizations. 

Now we must work together to ensure that the ATT will make a difference on the ground.

That it will promote peace and security ... advance human rights ... build a better and safer world for all.

Let us keep up the effort.

Today is a milestone.  But it is also the beginning of a new chapter.

I urge everyone here to make every effort to achieve universality of this Treaty and ensure robust and effective implementation.

I call on all governments to join forces with civil society to bring legislation and procedures in line with the treaty’s requirements.

And, together, we can achieve peace, security and development for people around the world.

You can count on my full support and the support of the United Nations.

Thank you.