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McDonald call for UN Arms Trade Treaty

21 June, 2007


Mary Lou McDonald MEP today welcomed the European Parliament resolution on the arms trade treaty, which calls for the establishment of common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons. Ms McDonald said "The Irish government should take a lead in adopting strong legislation against the arms trade, and encouraging other EU governments to do the same. "

Speaking from Brussels Ms McDonald said:

"The UN General Assembly on 6 December 2006 marked the formal start of a process towards an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), receiving the overwhelming support of 153 States.

“The firm position of the European Parliament calls on the international community to start negotiations on an international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) within the United Nations in order to establish a legally binding instrument to regulate arms transfers at a global level.

“Until the UN negotiations have been successfully concluded, irresponsible arms transfers will continue to cause unacceptable human suffering.

“Pending the outcome of these negotiations, States should not continue to allow previously agreed arms embargoes to be ignored and mocked by parties to armed conflicts and unscrupulous arms suppliers.

“I welcome the campaigning efforts of civil society organisations, which have been key to bringing us to where we are now.

"The Irish government should take a lead in adopting strong legislation against the arms trade, and encouraging other EU governments to do the same. Pending the adoption of an ATT, governments need to take measures to stop the irresponsible brokering and transportation of arms, ammunition and associated military and security equipment of all types, including components and dual-use items. They should also prevent the transfer and licensing of foreign production of such equipment to parties subject to international arms embargoes or who persistently commit serious violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law."

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