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.
Last Week, Transparency International Malaysia hosted a conference in Kuala Lumpur about the importance of including strong anti-corruption provisions in a potential UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The conference, titled “UN Arms Trade Treaty: Tackling Corruption, Saving Lives”, brought together members of civil society, representatives of the Malaysian government and from the diplomatic community for a very interesting and constructive conversation. Discussions focused on what the ideal mechanisms would be to ensure that a robust ATT addresses corruption in the arms trade and its devastating consequences, as well as on the impact which an ATT could have on the region and for ASEAN.
In advance of the conference, Tobias Bock, an expert from Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme (TI-DSP) made a strong case for including anti-corruption measures in the ATT: “Corruption in the arms trade costs lives. In many cases, as a result of bribery and corruption, weapons destined for governments end up in the hands of criminals or dictators. It is estimated that the global cost of corruption in the defence sector is at least USD 20 billion a year, based on data from the World Bank and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.” Tobias Bock was also interviewed by “BFM 89.9 – The Business Station”. The interview was aired on the morning of the conference.
During the conference, experts from TI-DSP, as well as representatives from Indonesian Corruption Watch and Pax Christi Philippines also addressed participants, as did the President and the Secretary General of Transparency International Malaysia.
The anti-corruption measures that were discussed at the “Tackling Corruption, Saving Lives” event have received strong backing from a diverse set of supporters that includes global investment funds, the defense industry, nongovernmental organizations, and many of the UN member states that will be responsible for negotiating the Treaty text.
Transparency International is a member of the Control Arms coalition alongside partners such as Oxfam International, Amnesty International, and many other regional and international civil society organizations.