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Remarks by Ambassador Marie-Louise Potter at the Special Event to Mark the Opening for Signature of the Arms Trade Treaty Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York 3 June 2013

03.06.2013

Excellencies,

Seychelles is honored to be among the first 60 states who have today signed this landmark Arms and Trade Treaty, and proud to have been amongst the majority of states which contributed to its adoption on the 2nd of April this year.

The adoption of ATT is yet another milestone accomplishment of the UN who for many years has fought tirelessly to regulate the trade of conventional weapons which continues to pose a major threat to international peace and security today.

Seychelles will continue to join the voice of reason in encouraging as many states as possible to sign and ratify this treaty so that it enters into force without undue delay.

The consequences of illegal trade of weapons falling into the wrong hands are all too visible today as acts of terrorism and pockets of conflicts continue to spread to new territories and terrorists, continue to adopt new methods to destabilize and terrorize  nations across the globe.

Who would have thought that Seychelles, the beautiful and peace loving nation as we are would be a victim of illegal arms falling into the wrong hands of Somali pirates?

Who would have thought that  bandits roaming the high seas in small skiffs, could pose a security threat to one of the world’s principal maritime routes by high jacking huge vessels and taking hostages innocent crews with the use of small arms acquired through illicit means and ending up in the wrong hands.

As we join our sister countries to sign the ATT today, we are reminded of the leadership role that Seychelles has played in mobilizing international attention and resources in time, and are encouraged by the decline in successful attacks recorded recently and efforts to promote nation building in Somalia.

Seychelles will continue to collaborate with our partners and the international community on all fronts and will not rest until a lasting solution is found to the scourge of piracy in our region and the Indian Ocean regains its reputation as a zone of peace.

The consequences of piracy on our peace loving people has only served to strengthen our resolve and determination to play a greater role in peace building initiatives not only on our beautiful and  promising continent of Africa but internationally.

Seychelles’ aspiration to become a non permanent member of the SC in 2017 is therefore a reminder that no country is too small and no voice is not loud enough to effectively serve the noble cause of peace building and lasting international security which the ATT is part of.

Seychelles is party to a number of treaties focusing on the control and regulation of arms transfers but, our main challenge remains the domestication of these treaties into our local legislation which require huge technical expertise and support in capacity building.

We therefore welcome the support expressed by Australia, Denmark and others that will follow, to assist developing countries like Seychelles to meet our obligations under this treaty when it gradually comes into effect.

To conclude, Seychelles is confident that the Treaty, once it enters into force, will be an asset in our fight against piracy around the Horn of Africa and remains fully committed to the rule of law, peace and international security.

I thank you.

 

Statement made by Seychelles  PR to the UN at the signing of the  ATT on 3rd June 3, 2013 New York.

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