As part of the “100 Days of Speaking Out!”, a countdown to the treaty negotiations, Control Arms will regularly feature stories and profiles of different people who support a bulletproof ATT.

Control Arms Secretariat Director Jeff Abramson made the case for a strong ATT to a packed room of UN delegates and experts at the Turtle Bay Security Roundtable: Opportunities to Prevent Proliferation of Conventional Weapons on Monday, May 21. Hosted by Permanent Missions of Japan, Poland, and Turkey, ambassadors from each country emphasized the importance of achieving an ATT this July. The event was the third in a series of roundtable discussions on non-proliferation and disarmament.

Although the roundtable was designed to broadly discuss conventional arms issues, the ATT took center stage in comments by panelists and questions posed by participants. Abramson emphasized that civil society would not accept a weak text and his confidence that the majority of states felt the same. In answering skeptics about the role of multilateral diplomacy, Abramson challenged delegates to use the negotiations as an opportunity for the “UN to regain its shine.”

After the roundtable, panelist Christian Caryl turned portions of his presentation into a blog arguing:

“It seems nonsensical that the international community already maintains rules for broad swathes of global trade — but somehow hasn’t ever managed to do the same thing for a category of products that kill global citizens on a regular basis. (As Anna Macdonald of the British charity Oxfam memorably put it: “How can the sale of bananas be more tightly controlled than the sale of machine guns?”) Meanwhile, weapons of mass destruction have been subject to international treaties for many years now.”

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