EU — Conclusions on the Arms Trade Treaty

3026th AGRICULTURE and FISHERIES Coun­cil meet­ing — Brus­sels, 12 July 2010
The Coun­cil adopt­ed the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:
“The Coun­cil firm­ly sup­ports the nego­ti­a­tion of an Arms Trade Treaty, a legal­ly bind­ing inter­na­tion­al instru­ment estab­lish­ing com­mon inter­na­tion­al stan­dards for the import, exports and trans­fers of con­ven­tion­al weapons. Such an inter­na­tion­al instru­ment will cer­tain­ly con­tribute to rein­force inter­na­tion­al peace and secu­ri­ty.

The Coun­cil wel­comes the adop­tion by the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly, with the sup­port of all EU Mem­ber States, of res­o­lu­tion 64/48 on the Arms Trade Treaty. The res­o­lu­tion man­dates five meet­ings of a Prepara­to­ry Com­mit­tee lead­ing to a UN nego­ti­at­ing con­fer­ence in 2012 on the Arms Trade Treaty.

The Coun­cil looks for­ward to the first ses­sion of the Prepara­to­ry Com­mit­tee to be held in New York on 12–23 July 2010, and express­es its readi­ness to con­tribute to the works of the Prepara­to­ry Com­mit­tee in order to ensure that they will be effec­tive and substantial.

The Coun­cil will work towards reach­ing agree­ment in the Prepara­to­ry Com­mit­tee on con­crete and com­pre­hen­sive rec­om­men­da­tions on the con­tent of a future Treaty to be sub­mit­ted for con­sid­er­a­tion by the 2012 UN Conference. 

In the view of the Coun­cil, in order to be most effec­tive, an Arms Trade Treaty should be as uni­ver­sal as pos­si­ble and have a real impact on the con­ven­tion­al arms trade. A strong and robust Arms Trade Treaty should pre­vent con­ven­tion­al weapons from being used to threat­en secu­ri­ty, desta­bilise regions and states, vio­late inter­na­tion­al human rights law or inter­na­tion­al human­i­tar­i­an law, under­mine eco­nom­ic and social devel­op­ment or exac­er­bate con­flict. An ATT should also pre­vent the diver­sion of con­ven­tion­al weapons to the illic­it market.

To this effect, the scope of the Treaty, in terms of arms and activ­i­ties cov­ered, should be as wide as pos­si­ble. The treaty should also require State Par­ties to assess all appli­ca­tions for arms trade against the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dards and para­me­ters, includ­ing the respect for human rights and inter­na­tion­al human­i­tar­i­an law, and a thor­ough analy­sis of the risk of diver­sion to unin­tend­ed users. The Arms Trade Treaty should include trans­paren­cy, mon­i­tor­ing and assis­tance provisions.

The Coun­cil under­lines that no effort should be spared to ensure that the ses­sions of the Prepara­to­ry Com­mit­tee will be as inclu­sive as pos­si­ble. To this end the Coun­cil adopt­ed on 14 June 2010 Coun­cil Deci­sion 2010/336/CFSP on EU activ­i­ties in sup­port of the Arms Trade Treaty process.

The Coun­cil Deci­sion fore­sees a series of out­reach activ­i­ties, pro­mot­ing the ATT process among UN Mem­ber States, civ­il soci­ety, and indus­try, build­ing on the results of the region­al sem­i­nars on ATT held in 2009 in the frame­work of Coun­cil Deci­sion 2009/42/CFSP.”

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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