Statement by Lakshmi Puri on the adoption of the UN Arms Trade Treaty
03 April 2013
Author(s): Lakshmi Puri
UN Women welcomes the adoption of the text of an Arms Trade Treaty yesterday in New York and congratulates Member States and Non-Governmental Organizations that lobbied for this important framework. In particular, UN Women hails the inclusion of specific criteria on gender-based violence in article 7.4, requiring exporting State parties to consider the risks of arms being used to “commit or facilitate serious acts of gender-based violence or serious acts of violence against women.”
The ATT marks a significant step towards regulating licit arms trades, adding to the existing UN disarmament frameworks. In addition, the agreed conclusions of the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which concluded on March 15, acknowledged the relationship between the “illicit use of, and illicit trade in, small arms and light weapons and aggravated violence against women and girls.”
The global arms trade must not be a means of aggravating the already catastrophic levels of violence against women around the world, including during conflict and post-conflict. However, UN Women underscores that women are not just of importance to the Arms Trade Treaty as victims of armed violence, but also as peacebuilders and decision-makers.
Women’s crucial role in promoting peace and security, recognized in Security Council resolution 1325
(2000) and subsequent resolutions, must be recognized in all mechanisms for the monitoring and management of the arms trade.