By William Hague
Six years ago the international community began detailed work on an Arms Trade Treaty. We are now in the final week of negotiations.
The UK remains steadfast and determined to get the strongest possible Treaty. We will not sign up to a weak text. We want an agreement which is robust and legally binding and achieves significant gains for the international community, particularly greater security and the preservation of human rights.
The UK wants a treaty which acknowledges the responsibility of all States to effectively regulate and control the international transfer of conventional arms. The remaining negotiations will be tough and some countries seem determined to block progress, but these challenges are not insurmountable. British Ministers and diplomats will continue to work on in New York, in London and in our diplomatic posts around the world to reach a successful outcome, in partnership with those countries and organisations that like us wish to see the strongest possible Treaty.
This is our chance to make the world a safer place and to help reduce conflict. People around the world should urge their governments to seize this historic opportunity.
Rt Hon William Hague has been a Member of Parliament for Richmond (Yorks) since 1989. He is currently the British Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Foreign Secretary).