Ambassador DiCarlo Delivers Remarks on the Arms Trade Treaty
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Ambassador DiCarlo Delivers Remarks on the Arms Trade Treaty

February 29, 2020


AMBASSADOR DICARLO: Mr. President, the United
States is proud to have been able to co-sponsor and vote in favor of adopting the Arms Trade
Treaty. The treaty is strong, balanced, effective, and implementable, and we believe it can command
wide support. We join others in congratulating Ambassador Peter Woolcott for his tireless
efforts in guiding the negotiation. The treaty is the product of a long, intensive
negotiation, and I know that no nation, including my own, got everything it may have sought
in the final text. The result, however, is an instrument that succeeds in raising the
bar on common standards for regulating international trade in conventional arms while helping to
ensure that legitimate trade in such arms will not be unduly hindered. The negotiations remained true to the original
mandate for them from UN General Assembly Resolution 64/48, which called for negotiating
a treaty with the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of
conventional arms and for the negotiations to be conducted in an open and transparent
manner, on the basis of consensus. The consensus rule remains important for the United States;
the United Nations is most effective when it is able to take decisions by consensus. Mr. President, as the United States has urged
from the outset, this Treaty sets a floor – not a ceiling – for responsible national
policies and practices for the regulation of international trade in conventional arms.
We look forward to all countries having effective national control systems and procedures to
manage international conventional arms transfers, as the United States does already. We believe that our negotiations have resulted
in a treaty that provides a clear standard, in Article 6, for when a transfer of conventional
arms is absolutely prohibited. This article both reflects existing international law and,
in paragraph three, would extend it by establishing a specific prohibition on the transfer of
conventional arms when a state party knows that the transfer will be used in the commission
of genocide, crimes against humanity, or the enumerated war and other crimes. Article 7
requires a state party to conduct a national assessment of the risk that a proposed export
could be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law
or international human rights law, as well as acts of terrorism or transnational organized
crime. Taken together, these articles provide a robust and complementary framework that
will promote responsible transfer of decisions by states parties. Thank you, Mr. President.

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