FOREIGN Affairs Minister Murray McCully says New Zealand will be among the first countries to sign the Arms Trade Treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly last month.
The Treaty, which is the first to regulate the global trade in conventional arms, opens for signature in New York on June 3.
“This Treaty is a landmark step in the international community’s efforts to mitigate the serious security and humanitarian consequences of the illicit arms trade,” Mr McCully says.
“New Zealand was an active player in the lengthy negotiations that led to the Treaty, working closely with delegations from regions that have suffered from the illegal flow of arms, including Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We intend to be an active Treaty partner, encouraging and assisting interested countries with ratification and implementation.”
Signing signifies New Zealand’s intention to become a party to the Treaty, with the next step being ratification. This process involves Cabinet considering any domestic issues the Treaty raises before giving it approval.
The Treaty will enter into force only after it has been ratified by 50 states.