Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The international system must implement security sector reforms to adequately address conflicts and terrorism, as well consolidate peace and the rule of law in post-conflict regions, the Slovakian President told the United Nations General Assembly today. “We cannot have a secure, safe and stable environment without effective arms control and disarmament procedures in place as the basic instrument for conflict prevention,” Ivan Gašparovic told world leaders on the first day of the Assembly’s annual Debate.
“The signing of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has shown that the UN has the potential to make history and substantively contribute to increasing security in the world through its shared commitment to taking a responsible approach to arms trading.”
Mr. Gašparovic said Slovakia is prepared to do everything necessary to help the treaty enter into force. The ATT is the first international treaty regulating the global arms trade. It was overwhelmingly approved earlier this year in the UN General Assembly. The vote was the culmination of a decades-long push to halt illegal shipments of weapons such as missiles, combat aircraft and attack helicopters.
He also endorsed other international treaties that would help address security issues such as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would ban all nuclear tests in all environments, for military or civilian purposes, and called on the international community to reach an agreement on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
“Terrorism continues to remain one of the most serious threats to peace and security. It plays a key role in many conflicts. A majority of its victims are civilians,” he said. “We can find a solution through our joint efforts only, under the UN’s auspices.”
In addition, Mr. Gašparovic emphasized that security sector reform is a key component in post-conflict development and in strengthening the rule of law, and reiterated Slovakia’s commitment to work with the UN to build the Organization’s capacities in this regard. “If we cannot give people security, safety, education and jobs, they will be quick to draw guns again in desperation,” he said. “There can be no peace without economic stability and prosperity.”
To prevent further conflicts, countries must ensure sustainable development and social stability, two topics which will be addressed during this session of the General Assembly. This has enormous potential to be effective if countries work together, he said, adding that: “Slovakia wants to actively participate in the preparation of development goals beyond 2015 and is getting ready for a new stage in development cooperation.”
(UN press release)