Statement by H.E. Mr. Halit Çevik, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations at the Signing Ceremony of the Arms Trade Treaty

Halit Çevik 03.06.2013
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentleman,

At the outset, I would like to begin by congratulating all of us for making today possible. We also would like to highlight the role played by the Presidents of both Conferences on the Arms Trade Treaty, notably Ambassador Moritan and Ambassador Woolcott, as well as their teams. We also would like to express our appreciation to civil society for playing an instrumental role in the process.

We maintain the view that the proliferation of conventional weapons is also a global concern. The excessive accumulation and uncontrolled and illicit trade of small arms and light weapons pose a significant threat to peace and security, as well as to the social and economic development of many countries. In this context, the ill-effects of the spread in small arms and light weapons have been causing in Africa is of great concern. Human security is paramount for development. On the other hand, there is also an undeniably close relationship between the illicit trade of those arms and terrorism.

As a country who also has suffered its own share from all these negative impacts of illicit trafficking, uncontrolled proliferation and their unauthorized use, Turkey has welcomed the idea of an Arms Trade Treaty from the very first day. Turkey has co-sponsored the relevant General Assembly Resolutions and actively participated in the meetings and Conferences.

We believe that, even though it is imperfect, the Arms Trade Treaty will contribute to filling an important void in international arms transfers, with its means to regulate such transfers through common international standards, and to enhance transparency and accountability, thereby helping to build confidence.

But its real strength will be in its universalization and implementation. Turkey will be signing the Treaty as soon as possible. We also invite all delegations to sign and ratify it, for the Treaty can enter into force without delay. Additionally, we expect its implementation in good faith.

Thank you.