Overwhelming Majority of States in General Assembly Say ‘Yes’ to Arms Trade Treaty
By a vote of 154 in favour to 3 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Syria), with 23 abstentions, the Assembly passed the 28-article Arms Trade Treaty, aiming to establish the highest possible common international standards for the annual $70 billion business. The adoption follows the failure last week of the Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty to reach consensus on the text at the conclusion of its two-week session.
Statement by the minister of foreign affairs – Adoption by the UN General Assembly of an arms trade treaty (April 2, 2013)
"The UN General Assembly’s adoption, by a large majority, of the Arms Trade Treaty is extremely good news.
For the first time, the international community has a legally binding instrument to regulate the arms trade. This is a major step forward for international humanitarian law and human rights, which are at the heart of the criteria that the states parties undertake to respect in order to regulate the transfer of arms through their national control systems. The treaty, which is designed to limit the impact of the uncontrolled spread of conventional weapons, will also contribute to strengthening international security.
This treaty was adopted following a long process, launched with the support of civil society for an international instrument to regulate the arms trade. This process has been conducted within the UN since 2006. Significantly, only Syria, North Korea and Iran voted against the treaty.
France actively participated in the negotiation and demonstrated resolute commitment, commensurate with our ambitions and those of our European partners. I pay tribute to the quality of the cooperation with the non-governmental organizations which demonstrated unwavering commitment and worked in an effective manner.
France encourages the UN member states to swiftly sign and ratify this treaty."