Arms Trade: Global Treaty

House of Lords written question – answered at on 2 November 2010.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what preparations they are making for the drafting of an effective arms trade treaty, covering all conventional weapons and ammunition; and whether they consider the present timetable and negotiating period to be realistic.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

The UK Government continue to support efforts to secure a robust and effective international arms trade treaty, which has the widest possible scope. A cross-Whitehall team, including representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for International Development, are developing the UK position on all aspects of the arms trade treaty, including its implementation and application. This work is undertaken in consultation with UK defence industry and non-governmental organisations, and includes issues relating to reporting, monitoring, verification and inter-state co-operation.

There remain two Preparatory Committee meetings in 2011, ahead of the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012. Although this remains a challenging timescale, it is achievable if we can maintain the positive momentum generated during the first UN meeting in July, at which the UK played a full and constructive role.

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