Didier Reynders calls for international arms trade treaty

date: 14 March 2013

On 18 March, the last round of negotiations regarding an international arms trade treaty will start in New York. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders hopes that these negotiations will lead to a result that will enjoy support from all countries, including those countries which are large-scale manufacturers and exporters of arms. Belgium wants a strong and ambitious treaty that contributes to transparent regulation of the arms trade and enhances international peace and security.

The draft treaty as it now stands has already been the subject of considerable negotiations and constitutes an excellent basis for consensus. The treaty must include essential criteria such as respect for human rights and for international humanitarian law. It is on the basis of these criteria that a determination must be made as to whether arms exports are legitimate. According to Didier Reynders, this will improve the protection of civilian populations. The minister calls on all countries to give this treaty a chance.

The treaty is a priority for Belgian foreign policy. Cooperation in this regard is important and creates trust. It can prompt countries to take reasoned decisions on the arms trade.