Press Releases

    UNIS/OUS/008
    10 February 2010

    Reissued as received

    Countries Coming Together in Vienna to Discuss
    Arms Transfer Controls

    11-12 February, Hofburg Congress Centre, Vienna, Austria

    VIENNA, 10 February (UN Information Centre) - Representatives of over 250 countries, organizations and civil society will come together in Vienna on the 12th of February to discuss conventional arms transfers and possibilities to improve their international controls. These issues are the topic of a seminar, which will conclude a project that the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research has been implementing for the European Union since early 2009. The aim of the project is to increase awareness about an international legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), and to promote discussions about its possible elements, scope and implications.

    The seminar, co-hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, will be officially opened by Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, together with high-level officials from the European Union and the United Nations. It will present to the international community the discussions, recommendations and ideas on the ATT process that have emerged from a series of regional seminars organized in different parts of the world during the project. It will be an opportunity to learn from the outcomes of the project and will allow for a further exchange of views on national, regional and international priorities and challenges related to conventional arms trade.

    Media representatives are invited to participate in the concluding seminar on the 12th, as all its working sessions are open to the public.

    The concluding seminar will be preceded on the 11th of February by the last event of the series of regional seminars, aimed at 24 countries from Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.

    The seminars are part of a project that is implemented in the framework of the Decision of the Council of the EU "on support for EU activities in order to promote among third countries the process leading towards an Arms Trade Treaty, in the framework of the European Security Strategy", adopted in January 2009. With this project, the EU and UNIDIR wish to promote the participation of all stakeholders in the discussions around an Arms Trade Treaty, integrate national and regional approaches to the international process underway at the United Nations, and to contribute to identifying the scope and implications of a treaty on the trade in conventional arms. The project has facilitated the exchange of views among States, regional organizations and civil society by encouraging discussions around different aspects of a possible international treaty on arms trade.

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    For more information, please contact:

    Elli Kytömäki
    Project Manager, Promoting Discussion on an Arms Trade Treaty
    United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
    Telephone: (+41-22) 917-20-90
    Fax: (+41-22) 917-01-76
    Email: ekytomaki@unog.ch
    Website: www.unidir.org