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.

Representatives of 24 countries from Europe are gathering with regional, international, and nongovernmental organizations in Belgrade, Serbia on April 18th for a 3-day seminar titled “Supporting the Arms Trade Negotiations through Regional Discussions and Expertise Sharing”.

The seminar is co-hosted by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), the European Union, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia and discusses improving the regulation of international arms transfers through a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The conference is the final event in a series of regional seminars hosted by UNIDIR. Zoran Vujic, the Assistant Minister of the Serbian MFA and the Deputy Head of the Delegations of the EU to the Republic of Serbia set the tone for the event during the opening ceremony by saying: “Serbia attaches particular importance to the issue of regulation of arms trade while respecting and strictly implementing the relevant international criteria and standards.”

The objective of the seminar is to provide an overview of implementation processes of a future ATT and allow for an exchange of views amongst country representatives on specific items up for debate during ATT negotiations this July.

Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, who chaired previous ATT Preparatory Committee meetings was in attendance at the event. Ambassador Moritan referenced the benefits of confronting challenges through regional meetings like the UNIDIR event in Belgrade while speaking with Control Arms coalition members. “The ATT is a difficult task because this is the first time the UN is discussing a Treaty on security matters amongst all member states*,” Moritan said.

“This kind of meetings will help national delegations to arrive in New York in better conditions”.

Editor’s note: While the UN has certainly addressed security matters in the past, this quote is indicative of the importance placed on the need for the ATT to establish global rules on conventional arms transfer controls.

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