THAI­LAND PRE­PAR­ING TO RATIFY ARMS TRADE TREATY

Bangkok Post - - 7 DAYS NATIONAL - KORNCHANOK RAKSASERI

>> Thai­land is still pre­par­ing to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), an in­ter­na­tional treaty aimed at reg­u­lat­ing the in­ter­na­tional trade in con­ven­tional arms, af­ter it be­came a sig­na­tory in late 2014.

Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs Don Pra­mud­winai told the Bangkok Post that Thai­land will be­come a state party of the treaty “when it is ready”.

ATT pres­i­dent Klaus Korho­nen, who is an am­bas­sador from Fin­land, in March toured sev­eral Asian cap­i­tals, vis­it­ing Bei­jing, Jakarta and Bangkok to pro­mote the treaty. He ex­pressed hope that Thai­land would ratify the ATT soon.

The ATT was adopted by the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly to pre­vent and erad­i­cate il­licit trade and di­ver­sion of con­ven­tional arms in­clud­ing bat­tle tanks; ar­moured com­bat ve­hi­cles; large-cal­i­bre ar­tillery sys­tems; com­bat air­craft; at­tack he­li­copters; war­ships; mis­siles and mis­sile launch­ers; and small arms and light weapons.

No Asean coun­tries are cur­rently ATT state par­ties. Cam­bo­dia, Malaysia, the Philip­pines, Sin­ga­pore and Thai­land are al­ready sig­na­to­ries.

“Thai­land is a very ac­tive par­tic­i­pant in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and in the field of arms con­trol. Thai­land is quite ad­vanced al­ready in the process to be­come a state party,” Mr Korho­nen said af­ter a meet­ing with Thai au­thor­i­ties.

On a sep­a­rate note, Pan­i­tan Wat­tanayagorn, an ad­viser to Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Defence Min­is­ter Gen Prawit Wong­su­won, said there are a lot of tech­ni­cal de­tails, such as de­tailed in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing arms and am­mu­ni­tion in Thai­land’s pos­ses­sion, that need to be worked out in order to fully com­ply with the ATT.

Each state party of the ATT is re­quired to es­tab­lish and main­tain a na­tional con­trol sys­tem to reg­u­late the ex­port of con­ven­tional arms com­po­nents and am­mu­ni­tion/ mu­ni­tions fired, launched or de­liv­ered by con­ven­tional arms.

In ad­di­tion, each mem­ber needs to de­velop na­tional laws, na­tional con­trol lists and other reg­u­la­tions and ad­min­is­tra­tive mea­sures.

ATT state par­ties are also re­quired to sub­mit an an­nual re­port to the ATT sec­re­tar­iat con­cern­ing au­tho­rised or ac­tual ex­ports and im­ports of con­ven­tional arms.

“Coun­tries face dif­fer­ent kinds of chal­lenges re­lated to arms con­trol in dif­fer­ent re­gions of the world. We have armed con­flicts, ter­ror­ist at­tacks and or­gan­ised crime, which all use con­ven­tional arms. Th­ese are phe­nom­ena across borders. No­body can deal with this alone so we need co­op­er­a­tion be­tween neigh­bours and re­gions. We also need to make the global en­vi­ron­ment more safe and bet­ter reg­u­lated,” the ATT pres­i­dent said.

“The armed con­flict in Syria and the con­se­quent hu­man suf­fer­ing un­der­line the im­por­tance to con­tinue work for peace, for non-pro­fil­er­a­tion of weapons and also for dis­ar­ma­ment,” he told the Bangkok Post.

Cur­rently, the ATT has 92 state par­ties in­clud­ing Aus­tralia, Ger­many, Ja­pan and South Korea.

Hon­duras is the lat­est mem­ber and rat­i­fied the treaty on March 1.

Among the five per­ma­nent mem­bers of the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, only France and the United King­dom are ATT state par­ties.

The United States is cur­rently only a sig­na­tory while China and Rus­sia have not adopted the treaty.

China and In­done­sia are not sig­na­to­ries of the ATT, but from the dis­cus­sion dur­ing the trips, both coun­tries have a friendly at­ti­tude to­wards the treaty, said Mr Korho­nen.

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