Speaking in Berlin today (2 April) about the deposit of the instrument of ratification for the Arms Trade Treaty, Foreign Minister Steinmeier said:
“We want to put an end to the uncontrolled arms trade worldwide. We have taken a further step towards implementing the Arms Trade Treaty.
Germany was a committed advocate of the Treaty from the outset. We are continuing this commitment: we will apply the core part of the Arms Trade Treaty immediately, even before it enters into force worldwide. Our aim in doing so is to encourage other states to join with us in countering the uncontrolled spread of conventional weapons.”
Today Germany, along with 16 other EU member states, deposited its instrument of ratification for the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with the United Nations in New York, bringing the number of ratifications to 31 – more than half of the 50 needed for the Treaty’s entry into force. The 17 EU member states published a joint Press Communiqué (see below) to mark their joint deposit in New York.
Germany also issued a declaration today on the provisional application of Articles 6 and 7 of the ATT, meaning that Germany will apply the core of the Treaty – the criteria for examining export applications – with immediate effect.
The Arms Trade Treaty lays down for the first time globally binding minimum standards for the international trade in conventional weapons, from pistols to tanks. Ever since the launch of negotiations in 2006 Germany has been a staunch supporter of the Treaty and indeed was one of the first states to sign it. The Arms Trade Treaty was adopted by a large majority in the UN General Assembly on 2 April 2013. A total of 118 states have signed it to date.