Risks Stemming from Violations of the Agreements Regulating the Export of Weapons and Military Equipment - Security Council, 9301st meeting

Preview Language:   Six Official
10-Apr-2023 02:29:58
Security Council Examines Risks of Illicit Weapons Exports, Hears International Instruments Are Paramount, in Debate on Arms Control

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The Security Council today discussed the risks posed by the illicit and unregulated export of weapons and military equipment during an open debate convened by the Russian Federation on that theme, as some members traded barbs on the supply of weapons to States in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

At the outset, the 15-member Council was briefed by Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, who outlined the risks posed by illicit and unregulated arms transfers, and enumerated the international, regional and bilateral arms control treaties, agreements and frameworks put forth by States to tackle such threats, regulate the international arms trade and promote transparency in weapons transfers.

Calling on all States that have not yet done so to join the Arms Trade Treaty, in particular, she went on to note that — in line with international norms — any transfers of arms and ammunition should include pre-transfer risk assessments and post-shipment controls, such as on-site inspection and end-user verifications.nbsp;

As Council members and other delegates took the floor, the representative of the Russian Federation asserted that his country has higher national standards than those of the Arms Trade Treaty and called on signatories to the latter to fulfil their legal obligations. nbsp;Observing that the crisis in Ukraine has become a clear demonstration of Western countries’ insincerity on responsible behaviour in arms control, he noted that his Government has repeatedly convened Council meetings on the dangerous consequences of pumping Ukraine full of weapons.nbsp;

Responding, the representative of the United States countered that in Ukraine, the issue is not a matter of the diversion of weapons export systems.

Echoing such points, the representative of the United Kingdom observed that the Russian Federation has taken up the Council’s presidency while it fails to meet the most basic obligations of a United Nations Member State.

The representative of Ghana, noting that four of the world’s major weapons-exporting States are permanent Council members, underlined the need to strengthen regulations for all aspects of export processes, backed by effective monitoring and enforcement action, to improve compliance.

The representative of China also noted that one country, representing a major military Power, has a long, lax regime of military exports and has transferred military goods to non-State actors.

Meanwhile, the representative of India said that while the export of weapons in violation of international law exacerbates geopolitical tensions and cannot be ignored, preventing the unregulated trade in conventional weapons and related dual-use goods and technologies cannot restrict States’ legitimate rights to engage in arms trade for self-defence or to pursue foreign policy and national security interests.

Also speaking were representatives of Malta, France, Gabon, Switzerland, Mozambique, Brazil, Ecuador, Albania, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Belarus, Indonesia, Poland, South Africa, Mexico, Iran, Pakistan and Lebanon.

The representative of the Russian Federation took the floor a second time.

The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. and ended at 12:32 p.m.
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