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Arms Trade: Treaties

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken by the Government to secure agreement to an international legally-binding arms trade treaty. (181727)

The UK is a strong supporter of the UN process towards securing a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made this clear in his recent speech at the Delhi Chamber of Commerce.

In 2006, the UK co-sponsored the original UN Resolution that called for work towards an ATT and which 153 countries voted to adopt. Since then the UK has worked closely with the defence industry and with non-governmental organisations, and has lobbied internationally to attract support for an ATT. Nearly 100 countries, including the UK, have submitted their views on an ATT for publication on the UN website:

http://disarmament.un.org/cab/att/Views_Member_States.html

The UK maintains a dialogue with its international partners to work towards a legally binding global ATT, and will participate in the UN organised Group of Government Experts’ meetings, which start in February to take this process forward.