2013 Statement


Statement by Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida,
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations,
on the Adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty
at the United Nations General Assembly

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Mr. President,


Japan welcomes the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty. This is what Japan has advocated for years and we fully endorse the joint statement made by Costa Rica on behalf of the seven co-authors of the ATT. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express our deepest appreciation for the outstanding work of Ambassador Peter Woolcott of Australia who chaired the Final UN Conference on the ATT, as well as the devotion and professionalism demonstrated by his team.


The Arms Trade Treaty will prevent the transfer of arms into the wrong hands, through implementing standards of both international humanitarian law and human rights law. Both States and civil society members have referred to these standards as “golden rules.” With the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, we now have a solid basis to assess whether States are conducting their arms transfers responsibly or not. With its scope of items and activities covered in the treaty, States can be held accountable for their actions.


Throughout the negotiations, Japan has attached particular importance to enhancing transparency and strengthening accountability through a reporting mechanism. Japan also believes the treaty will contribute to building confidence among States. The sharing of national control lists, for example, will provide both predictability as well as transparency of arms transfers.


As the proponents of the Arms Trade Treaty repeatedly said throughout the negotiations, we now have the floor and not the ceiling. In order to better implement the treaty, each State can do more than what the ATT prescribes. In this regard, international cooperation and assistance are essential.


The process of creating the treaty may have ended today but the journey of perfecting the framework of regulating the global arms trade has just begun. Japan will continue to do its utmost in this endeavor.


I thank you, Mr. President.