Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the Final United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (28 March 2013)

Mr. President,

We pay tribute to you on your excellent leadership of the conference. You have navigated a very complex process skillfully and professionally.

We regret that the treaty text could not be adopted by consensus despite intense efforts.

Perhaps a little more flexibility could have led to a successful outcome. We were close but not close enough.

Mr. President,

Regardless of today's outcome and developments, this Conference represented a step towards a more responsible arms trade. It also sought to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the people around the world for a rules-based framework in which the rights and well-being of all human beings are treated at par with security, commercial or political considerations.

In some respects, the justifiable anxieties of states and societies deeply affected by poorly regulated arms trade have been largely heard.

The Government and the people of Pakistan share these concerns. We recognize the passion with which these States articulated their narrative and worked hard to craft a strong and effective treaty.

Mr. President,

Pakistan, like other importing, transit and trans-shipment States, brought a different set of concerns to the negotiating table. We value the flexibility shown by the affected States in accommodating some of the legitimate interests of importing countries. We also acknowledge the efforts made to bring a semblance of balance and some justifiable safeguards for importers into the text.

We welcome retention of the principles-section in the text. In our view, the principles-section and its overarching role in the general implementation part including Articles 6 and 7 represent the needed equilibrium.

Mr. President,

Pakistan made several proposals throughout the negotiating process to ensure balance, proportionality and effectiveness. These proposals enjoyed support from several other delegations. However, they were either ignored or not fully taken into account.

Let me mention a few:

Mr. President,

We welcome that one of the three purposes of the treaty is to “contribute to international and regional peace, security and stability”. We also see it as a safeguard against any attempt to undermine the inherent right to self defense and security needs of States. Efforts at selective application of Articles 6 and 7 may lead to destabilizing accumulation of conventional arms in any region or sub-region of the world and may therefore deal a serious blow to the long-term viability of the treaty.

We also wish to underscore that the rules of procedure and the working methods adopted during the two Diplomatic Conferences on Arms Trade Treaty do not constitute any precedent for future multilateral treaty negotiations in the field of security and disarmament.

Addressing the concerns that have been highlighted by us and others would be essential to promote the effectiveness and universality of the treaty.

We will assess the final product in greater detail.

Finally, I request that this statement may be made part of the Conference report as well as its official records.

I thank you Mr. President.