Dáil Éireann adopted a Motion approving the Arms Trade Treaty, following an in-depth discussion and review thereof at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. With the approval of this Motion, Ireland has completed its domestic procedures and will be in a position to deposit its Instrument of Ratification as soon as the Council completes the EU decision, as is required pursuant to the Lisbon Treaty.
As Chair of the PGA National Group in the Irish Parliament, and a Member of the Joint on Committee on Foreign Affairs, I am particularly gratified by events of earlier today. In 2012, over 60 Members of Dáil Éireann signed the Control Arms Global Parliamentary Declaration in Support of the Arms Trade Treaty, spearheaded by PGA within the Control Arms Coalition. In that Declaration, along with over 2,000 Members of Parliament in 114 countries worldwide, we undertook to advocate for the establishment and ratification of the ATT. This is a concrete affirmation of that collective undertaking. The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Ireland has similarly played a very supportive and active role in the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the Treaty earlier this year. It must also be commended for taking swift action to ensure ratification by Ireland at the earliest opportunity. Indeed, it is a tribute to all of our sustained efforts over the past 6 years that Ireland will be among the first EU Member States that will deposit its Instrument of Ratification in the near future.
I urge all EU Member States – and indeed all UN Member States worldwide – to follow suit as quickly as is practicable to similarly complete all internal domestic procedures to allow them to ratify the ATT in 2014 and to reach the crucial 50 UN Member State threshold that is necessary for the ATT to enter into force.
I wish to acknowledge also the tremendous and concerted efforts by Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) in mobilising a large number of Members of Parliament worldwide in support of the ATT. They will need our continued support and commitment as we move to the vital phase of persuading more governments to ratify the ATT and, thereafter, to ensure its robust implementation.
The ATT, undeniably, is one of the most important international treaties of its generation. Properly implemented, it will be a powerful instrument in deterring future conflict around the world. We must do all that we can to make this a reality.