As the last preparatory meeting is coming up in Geneva in July 2015, Control Arms, in cooperation with Permanent Peace Movement/ Lebanon (PPM) joined efforts to promote the ATT in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region during the month of May. So far, six countries belonging to the League of Arab States have signed ATT, but none have ratified. Tunisia and Jordan are two Arab countries that are regarded positively towards ATT, but haven’t signed it yet.
For this reason, Control Arms supported a project targeting lobbying activities in Tunisia and Jordan, implemented by Permanent Peace Movement. In Tunis, cooperating partner, the Free Tunisia Association, presided by Hazem Ksouri organized a round table conference on 28 May 2015 as part of a media and lobbying campaign for ATT. Approximately 50 persons from the media, civil society, research centers, law, business and government attended the round table conference on 28 May 2015.
In Jordan, Permanent Peace Movement met with Jordanian officials from the Ministry of Interior (Human Rights Department), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (International organizations department) and the parliament (Committee of Legal Affairs ).
Those met with in both countries consider the current instability that the MENA region is witnessing in the moment as a big threat to their national as well as regional security, not to mention that both countries are fighting extremism within their on their borders. Due to this current situation, Tunisia as well as Jordan, although friendly towards ATT, are currently reluctant to sign the treaty.
However, in Tunisia there are possibilities to cooperate with members of parliament and civil society for future arms control projects and lobbying activities. In Jordan, the parliament seems to be ready to sign ATT, but lobbying efforts have to be directed towards the government.