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Estonia Considers International Arms Trade Treaty to Be Essential


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Negotiations for the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will begin at the UN conference in New York. The Estonian delegation is being led by Estonian Permanent Representative to the UN Margus Kolga, who emphasises the need to conclude such a treaty.

Ambassador Margus Kolga states that the international Arms Trade Treaty would be the first legally binding international agreement between countries that would set international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons. “Concluding such an agreement is especially important because at the moment there is not a single international convention regulating the transfer of conventional weapons,” the ambassador says.

The conclusion of the ATT would help to ensure peace and security all over the world. “Also important to Estonia is the human rights aspect, since concluding the treaty would help to prevent weapon transfers that violate human rights, international humanitarian law, or arms embargos,” Kolga states. By preventing illegal arms trade, the international agreement would also help to fight terrorism and organised crime. The agreement, which would make it harder for weapons to end up on the black market, would help to reduce civilian victims in conflict zones.

Therefore, Ambassador Kolga states, Estonia supports concluding a strong, effective and universal agreement that would set shared and strict international standards that states would have to consider when making supply decisions and that would increase states’ responsibility for weapons shipments and the transparency of transfers.

Negotiations on the international Arms Trade Treaty will continue in New York until 27 July.

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