India pushes for consensus on arms trade treaty
New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) India Thursday said that a comprehensive legally-binding arms trade treaty should not be rushed through and underlined the need for forging consensus so that the proposed pact can make a real impact on the diversion of arms to terrorists.
"A number of delegations, including India, felt that the draft text needs further work and a treaty of this kind, which would be legally binding when in force, should not be rushed through," said Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of the external affairs ministry.
He was responding to a question on India's position on the July 2-27 UN conference to negotiate an arms trade treaty (ATT) which failed to adopt an agreed text.
"It is important to bring all stakeholders on board in a manner that promotes the prospects of a treaty that is practical and implementable and is able to attract universal adherence," said the spokesperson. India also underlined that the treaty should be firmed up so that "it should make a real impact on preventing illicit trafficking in conventional arms and their diversion to terrorists and other non-state actors".
"The treaty should establish a balance of obligations of exporting and importing states and ensure that national implementation and domestic jurisdiction are fully respected. From India's point of view, we are prepared to engage in further work in a consensus-based process and outcome," the spokesperson said.
The treaty is critically important for India's efforts to rein in terror syndicates as the unregulated global trade in weapons is estimated to run into billions of dollars which is often diverted to terrorist groups and organised crime syndicates.
India is also in favour of including arms brokers in the purview of the ATT, but want to keep ammunition out of the pact. Pakistan, on the other hand, only wants light weapons covered under the treaty.
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