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New Zealand will push for a comprehensive treaty at the United Nations negotiations in New York this week to stop the illicit trade of conventional weapons.
“These weapons often end up in the hands of terrorists, criminals and human rights abusers,” Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says.
“Illegally traded arms have a devastating impact on the security and development prospects of communities worldwide. This is of serious concern to the New Zealand government, and why we have been a leading advocate of a strong and comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty.”
New Zealand is one of more than 150 governments supporting better regulation of the global trade in conventional weapons – loosely defined as anything from bullets to battleships. Arms Trade Treaty negotiations stem from a 2009 UN resolution.
“We need states to sign up to a global treaty with strict criteria for assessing transfers of weapons – that will address the illegal trade’s human impact,” Mr McCully says.
“These negotiations present a significant opportunity to end illicit flows of conventional weapons.”
As current Pacific Islands Forum Chair, New Zealand will also present the common regional position on the treaty.