1 November 2013

Explanation of Vote of the Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran

On Draft Resolution:

“The arms trade treaty”

At the 68th Session of the First Committee

New York, 1 November 2013

بسم الله

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Mr. Chairman,

I wish to explain the position of my delegation with respect to draft resolution on “The arms trade treaty” contained in document A/C.1/68/L.4.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, as an affected country by the illicit trade in arms associated with the activities of terrorist groups and drug traffickers backed from outside the country, has always been supportive to combat and eradicate the illicit trade in arms.
My country constructively participated in the UN Conferences on the Arms Trade Treaty, expecting the conclusion of an effective, robust, balanced and non-discriminatory treaty aimed at reducing human suffering resulting from the illicit trade in conventional arms.
However, the process has been redirected towards the narrow national agendas and regional policies and the draft treaty fell far short in meeting those expectations.
Accordingly, my delegation was compelled to join others in objecting to the adoption of draft ATT, in particular for the following reasons:

1. ATT failed to incorporate the prohibition of arms transfer to aggressors and foreign occupiers. This is a clear legal flaw in the ATT and as a victim of the act of aggression in the recent history it is totally unacceptable to us.

2. The treaty does not apply to international movement of conventional arms by, or on behalf of, a State Party for its use, and the transfer of arms between member States of military alliances while such arms transfers in some cases have been used to commit aggression and occupation causing human losses and destruction of the infrastructures of a number of countries including in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.

3. ATT fell short of recognizing the inherent right of States to acquire, produce, export, import and transfer of conventional arms required for the realization of the inalienable right of any State to security, self-defense and territorial integrity.

4. There is no real safeguard in the Treaty to secure the rights of importing countries and therefore, it is highly abusable and susceptible to politicization, manipulation and discrimination.

5. ATT does not prevent arms to fall at the hands of criminals, illegal armed groups, terrorists and extremist groups.

6. It also does not ask for limiting the production and transfer of conventional arms.

7. The inclusion of “parts and components” in the Treaty, in the absence of any clear definition, runs the high risk of equating every simple duel use goods and equipments with the actual conventional weapons.
We voted in abstention to this draft resolution and its operative paragraphs 1 and 3. However, our vote to this or other draft resolutions that contain a reference to ATT should not be interpreted as a departure from our position regarding the Treaty and its legal flaws and shortcomings.

In conclusion, I would like to stress that all activities related to ATT should be financed by the countries advocating this treaty, not from the regular budget or the assets of the United Nations.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

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