Minister Reynders on the negotiations in New York on an Arms Trade Treaty

date: 30 July 2012

Just like UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders deeply regrets that, in spite of their efforts, the negotiators in New York did not succeed in reaching an agreement on an Arms Trade Treaty. That said, the minister is very pleased that all Member States of the United Nations took part in the diplomatic exchanges. For an Arms Trade Treaty to be effective, the major countries that produce and export arms must rally behind it.

Minister Reynders is pleased that a draft treaty has been drawn up, which is a world first. This draft treaty contains several positive elements. For example, virtually all types of conventional weapons and all types of arms transactions fall within the scope of the treaty. Furthermore, the export criteria include evaluations of the human rights situation, and transparency in the arms trade is increased.

Together with its EU partners, Belgium has played an active and constructive role during the negotiations in order to reach an ambitious and far-reaching agreement.

The minister will work together with his EU partners and other like-minded countries to keep all possibilities open for this treaty to become a reality. He hopes to see negotiations resume as soon as possible on the basis of the draft treaty. He calls upon all countries to remain flexible on the points of discussion.