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International Treaty on arms trade: document is empty or project against Russia?
Material posted: Publication date: 09-04-2013

April 2, 2013 — in fact, historical date, in the UN General Assembly held a vote on the International Treaty on arms trade (ATT). The resolution gives the project ATT the final status, voted by 154 States.

Against the adoption of the document voted with Syria, Iran and North Korea: they are not without reason, believes that the document will allow major exporters of arms to dictate terms. In addition, the Syrian government is well aware: ATT does not become an obstacle for arming the so-called "opposition" States of the West and the Persian Gulf. Because of the three votes against the consensus failed, and the document was voted on by the General Assembly. Twenty-three countries, including the Russian Federation, Belarus, Bolivia, Venezuela, China and Cuba, abstained. The resolution urges "all States to consider signing of the Contract" and join him "as soon as possible, in accordance with their respective constitutional processes".

Under the control of the contract will include all types of conventional weapons (tanks, armored vehicles, artillery systems of the big calibre, warplanes and helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, small arms and light weapons). Control will be exercised over the export of ammunition and parts to military equipment. ATT will open for signature June 3 and will enter into force provided that it is ratified by fifty countries-UN members.

Before the vote, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations comrade. Churkin said that the draft ATT "there are significant flaws, as well as provisions that cause at least doubts and questions."

The fact that Russia has suggested to include in the draft Treaty a provision prohibiting the supply of arms to "unauthorized non-state actors". However, Western countries did not agree.

According to comrade Churkin, the document corresponding provision "will inevitably affect the effective implementation of the ATT". The envoy believes that the draft Treaty contains "some positive aspects", but not up to the standards of the trade in arms already used "not only in Russia but also in many other countries". Comrade Churkin said: "We intend to carefully study the draft Treaty in Moscow, and then decide whether or not to join it".

In principle, the document contains a provision according to which after 6 years of the entry into force of the Treaty: "any state party may propose amendments". These amendments will be considered at the conference on the arms trade Treaty every three years. But who will take the Russian amendments?

Unlike comrade Churkin, Mr. ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, warmly welcomed the General Assembly's approval of the draft ATT.

The organization's Secretary General expressed confidence that the Treaty will be a powerful new tool to prevent gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. ATT, in his opinion, will add dynamics to the global disarmament efforts and will help combat the ingress of arms into illegal trafficking.

Ban Ki-moon called the Treaty "a balanced and durable" agreement, despite the contrary statements made by the delegations of several member countries of the UN, including Russian envoy Vladimir Churkin.

As explained by the Director of the Department of the Russian foreign Ministry security and disarmament Mikhail Ulyanov, who headed the Russian delegation at the negotiations on the ATT, Russia abstained in the vote because the text there is little substance the wording: "we Have been somewhat disappointing fact that the contract, having declared a good goal, in fact pretty empty. There are many slogans, but few specifics. Objectives have been formulated only in General terms. And how exactly to implement them, the contract view does not." About this comrade Ulyanov said in an interview with the newspaper "Kommersant". As V. Churkin, he noted that Russia failed to consolidate in the Contract the rules under which weapons can not be put to unauthorized non-state actors.

Russia unsuccessfully sought to include in the draft ATT and the provision on the inadmissibility of his "re-export" (re-sale). "Russia calls for halting the flow of weapons from controlled legal inter-country trafficking in uncontrolled illegal circulation, — has explained in conversation with the correspondent of "Nezavisimaya Gazeta", the expert of Center for analysis of strategies and technologies Sergei Denisentsev. — Russia offered other countries to adopt its system of export licensing and control of the supplied weapons. It is, for example, the introduction of an end-user certificate attesting that the importer purchased weapons into the hands of others will not flow. Or about the impossibility of export of arms without the approval of the President, as is customary in Russia."

In the case of the signing of the ATT on 3 June, the export of arms in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement will be denied if you suspect, if weapons could be applied to genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. States supplying weapons, will have to ensure that their products did not go to the black market to terrorists. However, the Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Jaafari is not in vain reminded that his country is not satisfied with the absence in the text of the Treaty mentions of non-state terrorist groups, some supporting the Treaty, he said, "are actively engaged in supplying terrorist groups in Syria with different types of deadly weapons".

However, the signing of the project fifty countries, according to the same Denicotea, — "the second part of the epic". After all, the process of ratifying the ATT "may take several years before it is approved parliaments of at least fifty countries. Problems with the passage of the ATT is expected not only in the U.S. Congress, but also, say, in the Parliament of India..."

As told "Kommersant" anonymous participant of the conference on the preparation of ATT, the practical effect of the Treaty is manifested mainly in the sphere of transparency of the global arms trade. The acceding countries will be required to report annually on the supply of eight categories of weapons. Today in the voluntary register of conventional arms the UN relevant details serves less than 40% of the States.

Vadim Kozyulin, expert at the PIR Center, said that the ATT has no control mechanism over the execution of the contract and the penalties for violators. Right to take sanctions against suppliers will remain the same at the UN security Council. In addition, each exporting country, as before, will itself determine whether there is a risk that the importing state will use the weapon for "serious violations of human rights" or "genocide", the interpretation of which in the text are not consistent.

Mentioned Mikhail Ulyanov, who drew the attention of the press that the Russian proposal did not pass, said: "perhaps, someone wants to be able to supply weapons to anti-government groups in countries where the authorities are inconvenient for someone". On a question, join to ATT Russia, the diplomat said: "we Need to make sure that the Treaty will not create any problems for legitimate arms trade".

In this regard, it is interesting the opinion of V. Kozyulin, who recalls that the authorship of the ATT is owned by former British foreign Secretary Jack straw. The expert suggests that the reason that prompted him to try to bring to fruition the initiative in the field of global control of arms trade, was the realization of the fact that the list of States that were subject to the EU embargo on arms sales, has always been much broader list of countries falling under a similar UN sanctions. In practice this meant that under the arms embargo the EU, China, Belarus, Myanmar, Sudan and Syria could easily buy weapons from "less scrupulous" suppliers, primarily Russia. The EU this situation is not satisfied, the expert believes.

Seems very problematic, therefore, the accession of Russia to the ATT. If the agreement was developed by West and takes into account the interests of the West to the detriment of Moscow's interests, it may be possible to measure seven times and... not be cut. Recall the words of the wise comrade Churkin: "We intend to carefully study the draft Treaty in Moscow, and then decide whether or not to join it".

Remember the first day of signature: June 3. Why is the date so important? Yes, because on may 31 the deadline of the embargo on arms supplies to the warring parties in Syria. And the hot head of the EU France's Hollande and the Englishman Cameron has previously indicated its willingness even to break the embargo.

As for Russia, it after may 31 may be engaged on quite legal grounds to supply "the Assad regime" a variety of weapons. Will the Kremlin to put something on Damascus or not, is impossible to predict. We only know that, given the opportunity Bashar al-Assad not so long ago turned to the BRICS for help. The Chinese, too, can help the government and people of Syria engaged in a struggle with terrorists, mercenaries and the bearded bandits. With those, who in the West listed as liberators and fighters against the "genocide" made by President Assad to his beleaguered people. Only Russia or China could Assad do to help, from signing dubious ATT they will have to give.

Oleg Chuvakin


Tags: assessment , Russia , UN

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