The Federal Cabinet today (22 May) approved the signing of the Arms Trade Treaty.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle has issued the following statement:
The Arms Trade Treaty for the first time lays down internationally binding, global standards. This is a huge step forward for arms control, security and the protection of the civilian population throughout the world, even if we had been hoping for even stricter rules on the control and limitation of the arms trade.
By signing the Treaty at the earliest possible juncture, a move for which the Federal Cabinet today gave the green light, Germany is demonstrating its firm commitment to disarmament, non proliferation and arms control.
I am confident that as part of the process of ratification the Bundestag and Bundesrat will also approve the Treaty quickly.
The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Arms Trade Treaty by a large majority on 2 April 2013. For the first time internationally binding rules for arms exports have been agreed.
The Arms Trade Treaty can be signed at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 3 June 2013. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will sign the Treaty for Germany that very day. The Treaty will enter into force as soon as 50 countries have ratified it.