Members of the International Catholic Organizations Network (ICON) came together for a briefing yesterday on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in New York. About 20 people representing several large organizations attended the event organized by Beth Begley of Pax Christi International. Gene Sullivan of the ATT Legal Response Network and Allison Pytlak of the Control Arms Coalition secretariat provided background on the treaty process and about the recent launch of the coalition’s 100 day countdown to the treaty negotiations in July. Members were also introduced to the Interfaith Declaration on the ATT, which is a sign-on statement open to religious leaders and faith-based organizations of any religious tradition and will be presented to governments ahead of the treaty negotiations. Pax Christi International was among the first organizations to sign onto the Declaration; it has since been endorsed by such high-level leaders as Desmond Tutu.
The briefing included a lively question and answer period and spurred a high level of discussion on many facets of the ATT including the inherent moral imperative among event participants.