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6 - 17 November 2017  
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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 sets Fiji's Position at Arms Trade Treaty Talk

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12th July 2011, Suva Fiji: On Monday 11th July 2011 the Director (Political & Treaties) Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation and Head of the Fiji Delegation Mr Sainivalati Navoti addressed 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 Defence.

In his Statement Mr Navoti informed the meeting that Fiji supports a comprehensive global ATT and agrees that irresponsible and poorly regulated trade in arms destabilizes countries and regions, fuels conflict, causes gross human rights abuses, leads to serious violations of international humanitarian laws and undermines all genuine efforts towards sustainable development.

"Fiji supports a comprehensive global ATT and agrees that irresponsible and poorly regulated trade in arms destabilizes countries and regions, fuels conflict, causes gross human rights abuses, leads to serious violations of international humanitarian laws and undermines all genuine efforts towards sustainable development."

Mr Navoti goes on to say that Fiji is of the view that an arms trade treaty ought not to minimize or detract from the fundamental rights of states to acquire conventional arms for legitimate self defence and law enforcement needs in accordance with international law and standards. However, it should identify core substantive obligations that reflect existing international legal commitment on the part of states to prevent threats to the peace of the international community; ensure respect for humanitarian law and the protection of human rights.  Fiji is fully supportive of an ATT that recognizes international norms and commitments including UN Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889:

"Fiji is of the view that an arms trade treaty ought not to minimize or detract from the fundamental rights of states to acquire conventional arms for legitimate self defence and law enforcement needs in accordance with international law and standards. However, it should identify core substantive obligations that reflect existing international legal commitment on the part of states to prevent threats to the peace of the international community; ensure respect for humanitarian law and the protection of human rights.  Fiji is fully supportive of an ATT that recognizes international norms and commitments including UN Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889."

Mr Navoti also informed the meeting that Fiji believes that an arms trade treaty should comprise a comprehensive system to control the cross border movement of all conventional arms and associated equipment.  This should cover the import, export, transit and transshipment and brokerage of all conventional arms, including heavy weapons, small arms and light weapons, parts and components of the aforementioned, munitions including ammunitions and explosives; technology used for manufacturing conventional arms, weapons used for international security and dual use goods intended for military, security of policing purposes. In this respect, we support the inclusion of the obligation of exporting, importing and transit states to ensure that the arms exported, imported or transported through their territory are not diverted to the illicit market or unintended user: 

"Fiji believes that an arms trade treaty should comprise a comprehensive system to control the cross border movement of all conventional arms and associated equipment.  This should cover the import, export, transit and transshipment and brokerage of all conventional arms, including heavy weapons, small arms and light weapons, parts and components of the aforementioned, munitions including ammunitions and explosives; technology used for manufacturing conventional arms, weapons used for international security and dual use goods intended for military, security of policing purposes. In this respect, we support the inclusion of the obligation of exporting, importing and transit states to ensure that the arms exported, imported or transported through their territory are not diverted to the illicit market or unintended user."

Mr Navoti reminded the meeting that the importance of international cooperation and assistance in the implementation of such a treaty cannot be overemphasized, particularly in our collective efforts towards the universality of the ATT. In this regard, we believe that international cooperation and assistance is a vehicle towards ensuring the effective implementation of the ATT by all states, in particular developing states that would require assistance including capacity building and the establishment of national control mechanisms in line with the objectives and purpose of the treaty:  

"The importance of international cooperation and assistance in the implementation of such a treaty cannot be overemphasized, particularly in our collective efforts towards the universality of the ATT. In this regard, we believe that international cooperation and assistance is a vehicle towards ensuring the effective implementation of the ATT by all states, in particular developing states that would require assistance including capacity building and the establishment of national control mechanisms in line with the objectives and purpose of the treaty. 

In an international or regional setting, the effective implementation of an arms trade treaty is dependent on a robust implementing mechanism. It is in the effective implementation of such treaty that we would ascertain its true value.  Even though domestic laws are important in the implementation of a treaty, our collective efforts will not reap its fullest rewards if the standards set by these laws for all countries are not uniform in addressing the international standards that are required. 

In this regard, a model national legislation would be important consideration for all member states. The nature of the activities that we hope to prevent dictates that we must all play a more active role in our mutual commitments to address this scourge."

Mr Navoti concluded by informing the meeting that Fiji remains committed to and supportive of the conclusion of a robust legally binding arms trade treaty and looks forward to further deliberations during this preparatory process with a view to reaching an agreement during the Review Conference next year:

"Fiji remains committed to and supportive of the conclusion of a robust legally binding arms trade treaty and looks forward to further deliberations during this preparatory process with a view to reaching an agreement during the Review Conference next year."