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   Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Director Navoti Speaks at UN Arms Meet

  13th July 2011, Suva Fiji: On Tuesday 12th July 2011 the Director (Political & Treaties) Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation and Head of the Fiji Delegation Mr. Sainivalati Navoti addressed the thematic sessions of the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference on Arms Trade Treaty which is currently meeting in New York from 11-15 July 2011. The Fiji delegation included Mr. Joji Washington from Ministry of Defense.

In his contribution Mr. Navoti told the meeting that it is clear that any meaningful implementation of a multilaterally negotiated instrument will have to be implemented at National Level:

"It is clear that any meaningful implementation of a multilaterally negotiated instrument will have to be implemented at National Level. As such, this will require that all countries have in place a national system for the licensing and control of international transfers of conventional arms. On this, Fiji wishes to advise that in this process, we must acknowledge and be sensitive to each other capabilities for there are no one size fits all in this matter. The systems of individual countries will be based on the extent and nature of their arms trading, as well as their system of government, technological infrastructure, capacity, and legal tradition."

Mr Navoti went on and said that Fiji agrees with others that all national systems must consider three elements: Licensing, Enforcement and external outreach to industry and international partners.

"Fiji agrees with others that all national systems must consider three elements: Licensing, Enforcement and external outreach to industry and international partners. Licensing is at the core of any arms transfer control system. References to Primary legislation in the Treaty ought to include a range of criteria or parameters against which a potential transfer is judged."

"Fiji is of the view that the ATT must give general guidance on the role of national institutions tasked with managing the licensing process to have: Clearly delineated responsibilities and relevant powers to fulfill the tasks; Clear procedures for how to carry out licensing or update the control list; Clear and effective communication between relevant institutions to ensure that effective licensing, enforcement, transparency, and accountability are achieved."

On enforcement, Mr. Navoti said that Fiji concur with others that the ATT must provide guidance to parties on their obligations on transparency and accountability, training and capacity building, institutions buildings, penalties and sanctions:

"On Enforcement, Fiji concur with others that the ATT must provide guidance to parties on their obligations on transparency and accountability, training and capacity building, institutions buildings, penalties and sanctions."

"On external outreach and international partners, the ATT must encourage Inter-governmental information sharing and exchange: Many states have formal information-sharing or information exchange obligations and/or commitments as a consequence of bilateral, regional, multilateral, or international agreements."

Mr. Navoti concluded by observing that contacts with other states, generated through membership of these agreements or by other means, may also allow access to important information that could be helpful in the case of a complicated licensing situation, or an end-user check or commodity classification.

"Moreover, contacts with other states, generated through membership of these agreements or by other means, may also allow access to important information that could be helpful in the case of a complicated licensing situation, or an end-user check or commodity classification."

"This may be promoted by establishing a national point of contact for national arms transfer control policy and practice and by a regional reporting mechanism."

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