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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Iceland first country to ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty

Ban Ki-moon & Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Foreign Minister of Iceland, announced today that Iceland had ratified the new UN Arms Trade Treaty, ATT, signed on 3 June, the first country to ratify this important treaty. The Minister made his announcement during the visit of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations to Iceland.

The Arms Trade Treaty is the first of its kind, dealing mainly with regulating the international trade in conventional arms with the aim tofoster peace and security by putting a stop to destabilizing arms flows to conflict regions and preventing human rights abusers and violators of the law of war from being supplied with arms.

The Nordic States were amongst those who advocated for the Treaty and it was also supported by international NGOs, such as the Red Cross and Amnesty International.

“In the negotiations on a new Arms Trade Treaty we set out to have a provision on gender-based violence included in the Treaty. In cooperation with our Nordic cousins and other like-minded nations, we succeeded in our task. That is how the system should work, and how we individually – and together – can make a difference,” said Foreign Minister Sveinsson, adding: “We have shown, even just very recently, that it does not take a superpower to advocate successfully for a worthy cause.”

Statement of Minister Sveinsson


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