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|Title||Amb. Kim signing the Arms Trade Treaty|
Statement by H.E. KIM Sook
Republic of Korea
ATT Signing Ceremony
3 June 2013
<Check against Delivery>
Madam Chair, Excellencies,
The Republic of Korea is pleased to be among the first signatories to this historic treaty. We highly appreciate the remarkable leadership of Ambassadors Peter Woolcott of Australia and Roberto Garcia Moritan of Argentine, as well as all of the facilitators in making this celebration possible. My appreciation also goes out to the UN Secretariat for its assiduous support. We would also like to recognize the NGO community for their unwavering dedication to this process. Although it is regrettable that the Treaty did not enjoy consensus support at the Final Conference, the commitment and flexibility demonstrated by all those States have helped to make the Arms Trade Treaty an overwhelming victory for all humankind.
The implementation of the Treaty, however, must not be flexible. It must be carried out in the strictest possible and on the most universal basis to end the suffering of the innocent, as envisioned by this Treaty. The illicit and irresponsible transfer of arms is in itself a crime that wreaks havoc in the lives of the most vulnerable, particularly women and children. Arms do not destroy arms themselves; they destroy the lives of us humans.
As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed, illicit arms flows affect every dimension of the UN’s endeavours. Indeed, the scourge of illicit arms flows hinders peacekeeping and peace-building, obstructs human rights protection and humanitarian assistance, and impedes our ongoing sustainable development efforts. In this regard, there must be no exception to the application of the articles, in particular, on prohibition, whether for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, or violation of UN Security Council obligations.
The Final Conference last March and today’s signing ceremony is but a new beginning. We recall that the ATT serves only as a starting line, reflecting common standards acceptable to each State. The Republic of Korea looks forward to the early entry into force of the Treaty. We also add our hope that the ATT will serve as a living treaty that will continue to strengthen, for instance in the area of diversion, as the sole international norm on the trade of arms.
The Republic of Korea reiterates its pledge to fully implement the Arms Trade Treaty and live up to its spirit. In the course, we look forward to joining others in international cooperation and assistance efforts as such. Lastly, we hope that the ATT will serve as the seeds for progress in the long overdue disarmament and non-proliferation negotiations.
Thank you . /end/