Int’l legislators vow to move swiftly on arms trade agreementSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 08/11/2012 7:53 pm in World / 10 comments
WELLINGTON, Nov. 8 — Legislators from around the world will move quickly to try to implement an international arms trade treaty (ATT) once it has been finalized, the head of the international Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) said Thursday.
The vote by 157 governments at the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament in New York on Wednesday in favor finalizing an ATT in March next year was a “hugely positive step forward,” PGA president and New Zealand Member of Parliament (MP) Ross Robertson said.
“MPs and PGA legislators all around the world, as well as many of the colleagues with whom we work, are deeply committed to making the ATT a meaningful reality in the near future,” Robertson said in a statement.
“Many of our PGA colleagues work in countries and regions which have been directly and indirectly impacted by the inadequate regulation of the international trade in arms, and have seen first- hand the devastating consequences this has had on their countries and their people,” he said.
“We want a strong ATT and we want it soon. We will move heaven and earth to see that, once it is in place, it is signed, ratified and implemented in all our countries as soon as possible.”
Four weeks of UN negotiations on an ATT in July ended with no agreement on a treaty text, prompting New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to express disappointment over “entrenched positions” by some governments on what sort of arms should be included.
New Zealand was active in the negotiations, pushing for a treaty with the highest possible standards covering bullets to battleships, and joined a group of 90 countries calling for negotiations to begin again soon.