Representatives from Vietnamese agencies and foreign experts are gathering in Hanoi on Nov. 22 to share their views on the Arms Trade Treaty.

Themed “Arms Trade Treaty: national and international views”, the workshop is jointly organised by the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry and the UK Embassy in Vietnam .

At five sessions on two days, participants discuss and share information to clarify contents that Vietnam can contribute to the ATT process and such issues as the types of weapons to be covered by the ATT, implementation mechanism and measures for members to fulfil their responsibility under the ATT.

Delegates from the UN Institute on Disarmament Research and the UK working group on ATT are expected to present issues on UN mechanisms on arms transfer and transfer controls.

Addressing the opening session, Assistant to the Foreign Minister Nguyen Van Thao stressed Vietnam ’s consistent policy of supporting international efforts on comprehensive and complete disarmament with a high priority on disarmament of mass destructive weapons.

Vietnam participates in and strictly implements obligations and responsibilities in mechanisms relating to conventional arms as well as takes part in the ATT process, he said.

He noted the country’s view that concerned parties should be given opportunity to research and present their stance.

Kate Harrison, Charge d’Affaires of the UK Embassy, affirmed the ATT is one of the UK Government’s top priorities. If the ATT is approved, it will contribute to binding member countries to strictly implement commitments favourable for the world security through controlling arms trade market and reducing illegal arms trade.

An UN Arms Trade Treaty negotiating conference is scheduled to take place in mid-2012. If approved, the treaty will be a binding document regulating activities of countries in the arms field./.