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.

Saferworld and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) hosted a seminar looking at key implementation issues and challenges for the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on 10 and 11 May, involving representatives from 15 states drawn from several continents, UN agencies, civil society, industry and academia.

Participants discussed several aspects that are required for implementing a future ATT. They focused especially the essential requirements for implementation of the Treaty at national level; the process of Treaty ratification and entry into force; and the role of international, regional and civil society organisations in supporting Treaty implementation.

Several participants emphasized that Treaty language should stress that the review conferences should be forward looking and allow for the progressive development of the regime. The example of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects was cited as a cautionary example given that no such forward-looking mandate existed in this context and that, as a consequence, its review conferences tended to be backward-looking, unable to propose any potential improvements.

The important and varied role of civil society in implementing an ATT was also the subject of particular discussion. Encouraging states to sign and ratify the Treaty, assisting states in acquiring the wherewithal for national implementation, and holding governments to account for their actions under the Treaty were among the valuable roles that it was argued could be fulfilled by civil society.

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