Japan and the United Nations
Statement made by H.E. Mr. Fumio KISHIDA Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, on the occasion of the High-level Event titled
"The Arms Trade Treaty: Towards Entry into Force"

25 September, 2013, New York

September 25, 2013

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
 Almost six months have passed since the Arms Trade Treaty, a milestone international agreement, was adopted here at United Nations headquarters. Over this brief time, one hundred seven countries have already signed, and six countries have concluded this treaty. This shows the international community’s strong commitment and expectations for this Treaty. For many years Japan has been leading efforts at the United Nations on addressing issues on conventional arms regulation through measures such as the proposal of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms and the annual submission of the UN General Assembly resolution on small arms. It is a great pleasure for Japan, one of the co-authors of the UNGA resolution on the ATT, to have been able to make a substantial contribution to the creation of this Treaty. 
 
Now please let me emphasize three points on taking steps forward.    
 
 First, early entry into force of the ATT is essential. Sincere compliance of this Treaty by the international community will undoubtedly strengthen the regime requiring more governments to take responsibility for the transfer of arms and it will thereby be conducive to preventing unregulated arms transactions. The eradication of illicit small and light weapons which has caused a number of civilian victims as de facto weapons of mass destruction, will increase the stability of civil society and will also help reinforce human security which Japan advocates strongly. Japan signed this treaty on 3rd June, a date which was opened  for the signing of the Treaty. We will proceed steadily with the preparation for the submission of this Treaty to the next Ordinary Session of the Diet with a determination to conclude it at the earliest date. 
 
 
 Second, for the ATT to be more effective, we must make this Treaty universal with the largest number of countries joining. In particular, the conclusion by principal arms trade countries is imperative. Taking this occasion, Japan would like to call upon the largest number of countries, in particular principal arms trade countries, which have not yet done so, to sign without delay and make the utmost efforts for their early conclusion. In this regard, we welcome the signature by the United States today.
     
  Third, for the States Parties to this Treaty to strengthen the national control system for arms transfer, international cooperation among them should be enhanced. Especially developing countries need assistance to help them put in place national measures duly regulating arms transfers. For a long time, Japan has been engaging in international cooperation in this field through a number of assistance methods including holding the Asian Export Control Seminar, and conducting various capacity building programs against the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons. Japan continues to embrace international cooperation as a means to implement the ATT globally. 
 
  Finally, Japan is determined to keep playing an active and constructive role as a co-author of the ATT, whose passage is an achievement brought about by tireless efforts made by the international community over the course of six years, with a view to an early entry into force and implementation.       
    
Thank you.