News article

The UK will work with others to ensure this Treaty matters

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

UK Ambassador Joanne Adamson, Head of Delegation, delivers statement at United Nations General Assembly meeting on the Arms Trade Treaty.

Thank you, Mr President.

Last Thursday, we were disappointed that success was deferred. Today, we have taken a decision that will save lives. It was the right decision, and we are proud of it.

Today, I have seen statements from my Prime Minister, my Foreign Secretary, my Deputy Prime Minister, and I have been in touch with our Foreign Office Minister, Mr Alistair Burt, who has been watching these negotiations with baited breath for the last two weeks.

This is a great success for the United Nations today and we in the UK are extremely proud.

Our action today is the product of ten years of campaigning and seven years of negotiation. But now, we must look ahead, to the future generations that will have a better chance to live safe and peaceful lives if this Treaty fulfills its promise.

Mr President,

It is up to us to make this happen. Today, we have shown what the United Nations can achieve.

We have a strong text. We made it together. But it is the global implementation of this text that will make a real difference. The United Kingdom stands ready to play its part. We will work with others to ensure this Treaty matters.

So what we have achieved today is a significant milestone on our journey to a better world. But it is just one part of the process. We cannot rest now. Today is the end of the beginning. Tomorrow we begin the practical work of changing lives and improving the future.

As we move forward we will keep together that team – the team of diplomats, of people working in civil society, of people from our industry, of our politicians, of public opinion. I pay tribute to everyone who has been involved in this long journey and my message to the conference today is let’s move forward together. Don’t look back in anger. Let’s take the next step.