UN conference on the Arms Trade Treaty - Statement by Iceland
The Permanent Mission of Iceland
to the United Nations
H.E. Ambassador Gréta Gunnarsdóttir
United Nations Conference
on the Arms Trade Treaty
9 July 2012
Iceland attaches great importance to the successful conclusion and implementation of an Arms Trade Treaty. We feel that the ATT should set ambitious standards and establish legally binding criteria, reflecting existing frameworks and related conventions, including on humanitarian law and international human rights. The treaty should not allow transfers when such fundamental rights are put at risk.
The Treaty should encompass all types of transfers of weapons, including exports, imports, transit and transshipments, whether they are sales or otherwise. It should include control of relevant services such as brokering, transport and financing.
Iceland believes that an ATT should encompass all conventional arms, including small arms and light weapons. It should also include ammunitions, dual-use items, as well as technology and services in connection with production, development and maintenance of such weapons. It is also essential for the treaty to specify requirements for end-user and end-use certificates for activities and objects covered by the treaty.
National authorities should enforce an effective licensing system for arms transfers and services, backed by adequate sanctions. The treaty should require that States keep proper records of arms transfers and there should be full public transparency as to these transfers and treaty implementation. Adaptations of the harmonized customs classification system will be necessary as they will greatly improve transparency in arms transfers.
The implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security are among the top priorities of the Government of Iceland.
It is well known that women and girls are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence.
It is vital that the treaty takes this into account and contains a specific gender-based violence criterion to prevent any such violence against women and girls. Accordingly the treaty should require States to not allow an international transfer of conventional arms where there is a substantial risk that the arms under consideration are likely to be used to perpetrate or facilitate acts of gender-based violence, including rape and other forms of sexual violence. To apply this criterion, States must conduct a meaningful assessment of that risk. It is equally important that the criterion acknowledges that both exporting and importing States have joint responsibility in preventing gender-based violence against women.
Iceland considers the Chair´s draft paper of 14 July 2011 to be a good basis for our negotiations. We fully share the ambition to reach an agreement before the end of this month on a draft treaty, that when implemented, will greatly improve security and stability for men, women and children around the world.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.