You are on page 1of 5

STATEMENT OF THE AFRICAN GROUP

ON

OPEN ENDED WORKING GROUP TOWARDS AN ARMS TRADE TREATY

STATEMENT

READ BY

LAWRENCE OLUFEMI OBISAKIN

(MINISTER, PERMANENT MISSION OF NIGERIA)

COORDINATOR OF THE AFRICAN GROUP

FIRST COMMITTEE

NEW YORK

6TH MARCH, 2009


On behalf of the African Group, I take the floor
to congratulate you and all the members of the
bureau for the highly commendable manner in which
you have steered our debate since Monday.

On the future Arms Trade Treaty, The African Group


wishes to state as follows :

• Africa is largely in support of a universal


arms trade treaty . Our group will also desire in
an eventual ATT the following : OBJECTIVE :

• The larger picture of the principles of an


eventual ATT must be to promote and sustain
international peace and security;
• Africa, like many other groups, have
regional, and sub-regional arrangements that
regulate transfer of arms . We advise these
existent regional arrangements should inspire
our works here ;
• On its scope, the African group,
recommends, inter alia, that an ATT should be
fundamentally anchored on the purposes
and principles of the
UN charter,including the right of self
determination, the national sovereignty of state,
territorial integrity and the settlement of
international disputes through peaceful means.

2
• The eventual instrument should
constitute an efficient tool to prevent, combat
and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional
weapons including small arms and light
weapons,

• The envisaged ATT instrument must be


universal, objective and non-discriminatory,

• A future ATT should contain a clear


requirement that all transfers of conventional
weapons including SALWs must be expressly
authorized by competent government authorities
of the importing State, as well as a clear
prohibition of transfers to unauthorized non-
State actors;

• International assistance framework should


be incorporated with a view to supporting and
promoting capacity building for the development
of relevant members. Equally, measures to
promote and popularize the instrument should
be encouraged;

• It should bridge the gaps that could be


exploited for arms trading in illicit market.
Mr, chairman, Africa wishes to recommend
that a potential ATT must also :

3
• enhance regulation of regional and global
arms trade among states;

• Assist in preventing proliferation of arms


into the hands of terrorists, insurgents, and
militants;

• Increase transparency in the global arms


trade ;

• Promote stability of government and


democracy ;

• Promote security and development and world


peace ;

• Facilitate approval of legitimate export of


arms;

• Africa believes that the principles or criteria


underlining the conditions under which arms
transfer should or should not be allowed will
undoubtedly form the central element of a
comprehensive arms trade treaty.

• The basic elements should include:


respect for the international obligations of all
Member States of the UN maintenance of

4
international, regional peace , security and
stability, prevention of diversion of arms and
prevention of internal and regional conflicts or
territorial acts.

Mr. Chairman, I thank you.