Summary: 24 December 2012, Brussels - The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission Catherine Ashton issued the following statement today on the adoption of the U0 General Assembly resolution on the Arms Trade Treaty:
"I welcome the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the resolution on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), convening the final UN Conference on 18-28 March 2013, mandated to conclude negotiations on the Treaty.
The EU expresses its strong commitment to the successful completion of the negotiation of the Arms Trade Treaty. This new legally binding international instrument is overdue, but finally within reach. It should establish the highest possible common international standards to regulate legal trade in conventional weapons. A strong and robust Arms Trade Treaty will make trade in arms more responsible and transparent, thus contributing to reinforcing peace and security, regional stability and sustainable social and economic development.
The draft Treaty that was elaborated by the UN Conference in July 2012 represents a solid basis on which negotiations should be completed. It is of paramount importance for the international community to agree on an ATT with strong human rights and international humanitarian law parameters and with the widest possible scope, both in terms of weapons and transfers controlled. The EU continues to play a key role in the regulation of the international arms trade and should be allowed to become party to the Treaty.
I note with appreciation the growing support by UN Member States for the conclusion of negotiations on the ATT. I encourage the UN Member States that have abstained on the resolution to constructively engage in the negotiations in March 2013 to ensure maximum ownership of this new international instrument."