Announcement

Foreign Office Minister answers questions on Arms Trade Treaty via Twitter

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

As the negotiations at the United Nations on the Arms Trade Treaty head into the final week, Foreign Office Minister for Counter Proliferation Alistair Burt answered your questions on the UK’s position on the Arms Trade Treaty live via Twitter.

Over the last six years, the UK has led international efforts to agree a robust and effective Arms Trade Treaty. We believe international regulation of the arms trade is urgently needed. Mr Burt recently travelled to New York to show the UK’s firm support for the negotiations and to engage personally in working to persuade key states to agree to a strong treaty. We are determined to spare no effort to ensure these negotiations have the best possible chance of success, despite the real challenges they face. This work is coming to a head at the United Nations in New York where intensive negotiations on the text of a treaty are due to conclude at the end of this week.

In advance of the conclusion of these negotiations, Mr Burt answered your questions on the UK’s position on the Arms Trade Treaty live on 24 July via the @foreignoffice Twitter account. Questions were submitted to Mr Burt using the hashtag #askFCO.

You can read the Q&A below.

#askFCO Can UK get Russia/China onboard without compromising on human rights criteria? On this, no compromise! #ArmsTreaty @foreignoffice

– Amnesty Scotland (@AmnestyScotland) July 24, 2012

@AmnestyScotland we’re trying. Huge effort being made in New York and capitals to bridge the gaps. AB. #askfco

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@janeknotyanek in a negotiation, some pressure is public and some private. Those in New York know how hard we are pushing. AB. #AskFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@janeknotyanek statement unnecessary after 6 years of leading negotiations to demonstrate UK’s position. UK not backing down. AB. #AskFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@dave_nichols We use both direct contact with countries & international groupings to convey 6 yrs of determination to secure ATT. AB.

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@NaomiMc Yes. Talking to them in New York and Washington. AB. #AskFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@sebastiangiraud we have red lines which we will not cross & we will not sign just a piece of paper & we make this very clear. AB. #askFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@Emmy_Crooks At this stage we are sticking to plan A for the robust treaty. No matter what happens we will be able to bank progress. AB.

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@Saferworld It is our intention to see these provision written into the #ATT. We are pushing hard for this. AB #askFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@Colbeckle We have. There is no evidence from what we have said or done from PM downwards to show anything other than determination. AB.

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@ArmsTreatyOrg Don’t confuse need to bind in others with willingness to accept a text that is weak. UK won’t sign up to this. AB. #AskFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@GarySpedding is frustrating for.our hardworking team to confront unreasonable concerns at such a late stage. AB #askFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

. @GarySpedding they work through the night to overcome these. AB #askFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@a_bacci At the end of the day you can’t force other states - you can either persuade or walk away. We will do what we think is right. AB.

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@AmnestyUK We have made no secret of how fundamental this is. AB. #AskFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@Aremay no. We have robust arms exports controls. It is in the interests of UK industry that others move towards the same. AB #askFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@cityospreys It’s a balance. To be effective, enough countries have to sign it & the US are very important but so are others. AB. #AskFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

.@ruthyie It sounds trite but the #ATT could make the world that bit safer for the most vulnerable. It’s worth having a go at. AB. #AskFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012

Thanks for all your questions to Minister Burt. Transcript will be available shortly. #armstreaty #AskFCO

– Foreign Office (FCO) (@foreignoffice) July 24, 2012