On Friday, the UN General Assembly gave the go-ahead for negotiations on a new, comprehensive international arms trade treaty. A UN Resolution calling for the establishment of a group of governmental experts was approved in the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) of the General Assembly by a vote of 139-1, with 26 abstentions. The group will commence its work in 2008 with a mandate to examine the feasibility and scope of a new arms trade treaty. The Secretary-General of the UN will also be asked to determine the views of UN member states regarding the treaty.
The new treaty would cover the export, import and transfer of conventional arms. The intention is for the new treaty to be based on the existing international legal responsibilities of the states, particularly in relation to humanitarian rights and human rights. The Resolution also stated that the lack of an international standard for arms trading has had a detrimental effect on peace, stability, security, and sustainable development.
Finland was one of the seven originators of this Resolution. Finland has been an active supporter of the international arms trade treaty since 2003. All EU countries supported the treaty and voted in favour of it.
Further information: Head of Unit Laura Kansikas-Debraise, Unit for Arms Control, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 9 1605 6185