UN member states which sign a UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), to be negotiated in July, should be required to report, regularly to a special UN unit on all arms trade deals, including transfers of small arms and light weapons, says a resolution adopted on Wednesday. The ATT should also require states to pass national laws to ensure that measures taken to enforce it are credible, it adds.
As EU member states account for about 30% of all arms exports and are among the world's leading arms manufacturers, the EU should do more to ensure that the trade is properly regulated and more transparent, argues the text, which notes that poorly regulated arms trade causes unnecessary human suffering and fuels armed conflict.
"We need an effective ATT treaty. National level implementation and monitoring are imperative. A UN support unit should also be established, to guarantee that trade reports, and possible breaches of the treaty are made public", said the rapporteur Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE, FI)
The new treaty should cover "the widest possible spectrum of conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons and all aspects and activities of trade, MEPs say. They urge UN member states also to adopt additional binding criteria to guide decision-makers on arms exports.
To achieve greater transparency and accountability, Parliament says the ATT should include strong provisions requiring states to report annually on all arms transfer decisions, including information on types, amounts and recipients and to keep records of them for at least 20 years.
At the same time, Parliament calls for the establishment of a UN unit that would analyse arms transfer data, identify potential breaches of the treaty and publicly report on them.
Parliament insists that the ATT must include provisions committing its signatories parties to pass the requisite national legislation, control at national level all transfers of items covered by the treaty and meet all its reporting and implementation requirements.
The ATT will be negotiated at a UN conference in New York in July.
The resolution was adopted with 612 votes in favour, 18 against and 36 abstentions.
Procedure: Motion for resolution