Mr. President,

I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu for her statement.

The uncontrolled proliferation, destabilizing accumulation and illicit use of conventional weapons are long-standing concerns of Switzerland. For this reason, Switzerland advocates for the adoption of rules regulating the transfer of conventional weapons at the international level and their full respect. At the national level, Switzerland controls the transfer of war material as well as specific military and dual-use goods.

I would like to emphasize three points:

First, we call on all states to adhere to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and to implement the provisions of the instruments to which they are party. The ATT, the Wassenaar Arrangement, the UN Register of Conventional Arms as well as the principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe which governs the transfer of conventional arms are key instruments establishing rules in this regard. They strengthen transparency and confidence among member states and participating states, both globally and regionally, thus contributing to peace, security, stability and the reduction of human suffering.

Secondly, the UN Charter authorizes the use of armed force in specific cases. For the acquisition of such weapons by states to be legitimate, international law and the rules applicable to conventional arms exports must be respected. It is also paramount that states ensure that the weapons supplied cannot be used to commit war crimes such as attacks on civilians, civilian objects or other crimes under international law, including gender-based violence. It is therefore essential that measures to limit these risks and to prevent possible diversion are taken, including risk assessments prior to transfers, the use of end-user certificates, and post-shipment verification.

Thirdly, member states are required to comply with obligations on conventional arms exports resulting from measures taken by this Council acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. We are concerned about violations of these resolutions in several contexts. Conventional arms shipments in violation of these provisions destabilize already fragile contexts and undermine efforts to resolve and prevent conflict.

Switzerland will continue its commitment to ensuring that the export and use of conventional arms comply with international law and the applicable rules.

Thank you for your attention.