Russia Hopes for International Arms Trade Treaty Revision

Russian Helicopter file photo

MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) – Moscow hopes for the revision of the international arms trade treaty approved at last year’s conference in New York.

“Hopefully, correct conclusions will be drawn from the negative experience of the July conference and the opinions of all participants in the process will be taken into consideration. We also think that the draft used as the basis for negotiations needs serious adjustment. We are still confident that the new treaty must have a set of clauses to prevent arms proliferation to “semi-legal” or black markets,” says a commentary of the Russian Foreign Ministry information and press department published on the ministry’s website on Monday.

It is important to add in a way acceptable to other delegations that only government agents should have the right to arms supply. “Without that there will be loopholes for access of non-governmental entities, among them terrorists and criminals, to armaments,” the commentary said.

That clause would make the document more substantive and add value to it, the ministry remarked.

Criticism of the progress and outcome of last year’s international arms trade treaty conference, “which failed its mission in spite of rather intense work of delegates, are well known,” it said.

“A reason is the mistakes of conference organizers: the negotiations were supplanted with backroom consultations to a considerable degree. Besides, the draft treaty was published only two days before the end of the conference. There was practically no time left for its serious consideration, not to mention discussion of its text,” the commentary said.

The ministry described the document as raw, insufficient quality and inconsistent with traditionally high standards of international treaties drafted under the UN aegis.

“The most important is that the approval of the draft the way it was would fail to efficiently solve problems of uncontrolled arms turnover. Standards set by the document are significantly lower than those in use in Russia and many other states,” the ministry said.

Therefore, the Russian delegation proposed to continue negotiations and upgrade the document to an appropriate form. “The participants should try to bring the work to a logical end at the next meeting,” the ministry said.