FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
See Calls for States to Adopt a Human-Centered Arms Trade Treaty
New York, NY, March 25, 2013 – In these last
four days of deliberations of the United
Nations Conference on the Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty – to prohibit the transfer of arms when
violations of humanitarian or human rights law are taking place - the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the
United Nations and the Holy See’s Head of Delegation to the Final Conference on
the Arms Trade Treaty, His Excellency Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, urges
delegations to work together in a consensual manner to achieve a historic
treaty to control the international trade in arms.
Since the start of negotiations, the
Holy See has called for “a strong, effective and credible Arms Trade Treaty which
will have a real and lasting impact on all people longing to live in a more secure and
safe world.” Throughout this process the Holy See Delegation has been active in promoting
a treaty which places the human person as the overriding consideration.
The Holy See has stressed that a responsible
international arms trading system should provide strong protections
against the transfer of arms to countries where such arms are being used
against civilian populations in violation of internationally agreed
humanitarian and human rights laws.
Further, the Holy See has urged delegations to reorient the regulation
of the trade in arms from one which is controlled through the lens of sheer economic interests to one which places
overriding importance on human concerns and protecting human life and families.
pressing for a forward looking and “future-proof” Arms Trade Treaty, the
Holy See in its interventions has called for States to adhere to the legal
principle of expressio
unius est exclusio alterius (i.e. inclusion of one thing implies
the exclusion of another), and thus consistently spoken out against
selecting one group or type of violence
in the text. Proposals to specifically mention “gender-based violence”, the Holy
See delegation asserted, risk serving to exclude a vast number of victims of
armed violence from protection by the treaty.
The Holy See has therefore argued that protections for women, men,
children, families, disabled, elderly, refugees,
migrants, internally displaced people, ethnic and religious minorities,
and all other internationally protected categories of people are more
comprehensively addressed by the provisions in the treaty which prohibit the
transfer of arms where human rights and humanitarian law are being violated.
The United Nations Final
Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty is scheduled to conclude negotiations on 28
March 2013 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
information about the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See
to the United Nations, please visit www.holyseemission.org.
New York, 25 March 2013