Statement by Ambassador Mari Amano
Head of the Japanese delegation to
the Final UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty
18 March 2013
At the outset, allow me to express my warmest congratulations on your assumption as the President of this Conference. I assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation.
I would also like to reiterate Japan’s firm commitment towards realizing a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty. While it was unfortunate that we could not achieve this last July, the conference did produce the July 26 text that serves as the basis of our negotiations. To realize a robust ATT, Japan will focus on two main areas.
First is to improve the July 26 text by adding legal clarity and precision. Second is to improve the substance of the treaty so that this critical legal instrument will not only be strong and effective, but also enjoys widest possible support among States.
You urged States to discuss specific textual suggestions from the very beginning of the conference to successfully conclude our negotiations in the next nine days. We will follow your instructions and move directly into the key improvements we need to see in the text. I would like to highlight five areas to express our areas of high priorities.
1.On Scope, besides so-called 7+1 items, we should include munitions. Ammunition also needs to be addressed in this treaty. The coverage of activities must be comprehensive and include gifts, leases and loans. Furthermore, in order to better implement the treaty, the States need to notify its control list for the items covered in Article 2.1. This will not only strengthen the implementation of the treaty but also gives much needed predictability regarding export control process.
2.On Prohibition and National Assessment, the phrase “for the purpose of” in Article 3.3., which was found problematic to many States, should be replaced by a knowledge-based test. The same applies for the phrase “overriding risk” on Article 4.5. Japan also finds it important to strengthen the section on diversion in Article 4.6 (a) to 4.2 to make the prevention of diversion as a key element in National Assessment.
3.With regard to Implementation, we have to ensure legal clarity so that the ATT can be enforced by relevant national authorities. In this regard, a clear description on jurisdiction is indispensible. The measures taken by States have to be consistent with existing international obligations. Japan has made this point clear since last July especially in the area of transit and transshipment.
4.Also on National Implementation, Japan would also like to emphasize the important role the ATT plays in enhancing transparency and accountability in global arms trade. The mandatory reporting by the States, described in Article 10, needs to be made public in this regard.
5.Last but not least, international cooperation and final provisions are also key areas to ensure the ATT to be effective and implementable. Japan will make comments on these areas at a later stage.
As the seven Foreign Ministers of the ATT co-authors including the Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced this morning, we have a unique opportunity to ensure a treaty which will save lives and reduce human suffering, and to bring transparency and consistency to the global arms trade. Japan will do its utmost to ensure the successful conclusion of this negotiation and, Mr. President, please be reassured of our strong support to your leadership and guidance.
I thank you.