On 9 July, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed the Arms Trade Treaty. It is the first country from the Middle East to do so.
The treaty was signed by Ambassador Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Jarman, the UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Afterward, the Ambassador expressed his pleasure to be signing on behalf of the UAE, calling it an important treaty and the first international mechanism for the organisation of international trade in conventional arms without prejudice to the sovereign rights of states in regulating weapons within its territory.
The UAE signature came just hours after Libya became the 78th signatory to the Arms Trade Treaty. H.E. Mr. Ibrahim O. A. Dabbashi, Libya’s Ambassador to the United Nations, signed on behalf of his government.
Libya’s signature is significant. Weapons shipped to the former government in 2009 have subsequently made their way to other countries, especially in West and East Africa where they are being used by armed groups. Preventing this kind of proliferation and diversion has always been a critical goal of the ATT.
Together the signatures of these two States indicate growing support for the Treaty across the Middle East and North Africa. Control Arms is pleased to see the UAE and Libya join the Treaty so soon after its opening for signature and hopes that other countries from the region will do the same very soon.