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Arms Trade

Volume 699: debated on Wednesday 27 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What main points and principles they intend to put forward at the forthcoming meeting of experts in New York to discuss the International Arms Trade Treaty. [HL1904]

The first meeting of the group of government experts took place at the UN headquarters in New York from 11 to 15 February 2008. The 28 experts examined the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for a comprehensive, legally binding instrument to stop the irresponsible import, export and transfer of all conventional arms. The meeting was constructive, with full engagement by all the experts. The experts agreed a framework for more detailed discussion at forthcoming meetings scheduled for 12 to 16 May and 28 July to 8 August, also in New York.

The UK's position on the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was set out in full in the paper submitted to the UN in March 2007. It is available on the UN website at: Views_ Member States.html. UK experts at the 11 to 15 February meeting based their interventions on the principles in the paper. We believe that an ATT should uphold international humanitarian and human rights law and support sustainable development; and that its overall effect should be to help maintain international peace and security, including by reducing conflict.