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We can win an international Arms Trade Treaty.
After over 10 years of campaigning we are at the edge of making history. Join the Control Arms campaign and keep up the pressure on governments to agree a bullet proof arms trade treaty.
2013 is the make or break year. This is what we want:
• no arms that contribute to human rights abuses
• no arms that contribute to war crimes
• no arms that keep people in poverty
• yes for global regulation of the arms trade
You can join the campaign by signing up below, and “liking” us on facebook.com/controlarms. Tell your friends to join us too by sharing a short tamen like this with your friends:
“I’m calling on governments to agree an #armstreaty to prevent arms fuelling human suffering. Join us: http://www.facebook.com/ControlArms”
Two more countries became States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) recently – Mauritius and Niger. This brings the total number of States Parties to 71, with more expected to ratify or accede ahead of the first Conference of States Parties (CSP) next month.
Mauritius submitted its instrument of accession on 23 July. The island country has reason to be vigilant about regulating the arms trade and particularly the actions of brokers after an arms trafficking network was discovered there in 2012, during the first ATT negotiating conference. The government quickly took action to shut down the network. Niger signed the ATT in March 2014, and submitted their instrument of ratification on 27 July. Located in the Sahel region, which has seen greater movement and availability of small arms light weapons since the conflict in Libya and more recently, in Mali, Niger has recently stepped up its efforts to mark and register weapons in order to reduce illicit trafficking.
Control Arms welcomes Mauritius and Niger as States Parties and continues to encourage other governments to join the Treaty. Governments will meet in Mexico from 24-27 August for the first CSP at which important decisions will be taken as to how the Treaty will be implemented and administered in future.
Campaigners and governments from around the world gathered in Geneva, Switzerland from 6-8 July for the final preparatory meeting for the first Conference of States Parties (CSP) for the Arms Trade Treaty. The three day meeting was a critical moment with the potential for taking decisions to make the ATT’s First Conference of States Parties a success. The results of the meeting unfortunately feel short of the ambitious goals. With the exception of what appeared to be agreement in principle on a set of rules to govern the first CSP, it was determined that issues of reporting, financial rules, and the ATT Secretariat required more time for discussion.
Throughout the conference, civil society working in support of the ATT advocated for strong principles and practical decisions that would produce effective ATT implementation. Calls to action for transparency in reporting, rejecting a decision-delaying deferment clause in the rules, and allowing full participation as Observers for the Control Arms Coalition were met at times with opposition from many of the large arms exporting countries. See below for the full NGO statements.
|Control Arms interventions|
In the interim period between the Geneva meeting and the First Conference of States Parties to be held from 24 – 26 August in Cancún, governments must make substantial progress on a variety of substantive areas or risk weak ATT implementation.
Click here for the full Control Arms summary and analysis of the Geneva preparatory meeting.
Governments, members of civil society, and UN officials have gathered in Geneva for the final preparatory meeting on the Arms Trade Treaty. The event is the final in a series of informal and formal meetings, meant to agree on the details of how the Arms Trade Treaty is implemented and how the Treaty’s First Conference of States Parties (CSP) will operate. These discussions will focus on four specific elements of the ATT: rules of procedure for the CSP, financing mechanisms, reporting obligations, and the ATT’s Secretariat and will run from 6 July through 8 July.
Previous meetings in Vienna, Port of Spain, Germany, and Mexico City have led the process to a point where governments can take appropriate decisions that enable the ATT to be implemented in a way that achieves its original purpose: to protect human rights and save lives. Control Arms will have an active presence in Geneva and will be calling on governments to take common sense decisions that will put the ATT in a position to deliver results for the millions on the ground that depend on a change in the “business as usual approach” to the irresponsible arms trade.
Perhaps the most important decision that must be taken regards the rules of procedure for the First CSP. For some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, strong rules can literally be the difference between life and death. Certain proposals have been issued that could see decisions delayed for up to a year. Other proposals feature a step backward toward consensus-based decision making. Governments took a principled stand against positions like these to agree on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2013. In order for the instrument to succeed, they must continue to show leadership by giving the ATT the tools it needs to be effective.
For live updates from Geneva, follow @controlarms on Twitter.
Five decisions governments can take to help ensure an effective ATT:
1. Decision Making:
Ensure there is an effective majority-based decision making process established for all procedural, substantive, and financial issues, and with no deferral mechanisms.
Ensure comprehensive, regular, and transparent reporting that enables the highest possible standard, not the lowest common denominator.
Guarantee that NGOs working to ensure effective ATT implementation are able to participate fully as observers in the CSPs.
4. ATT Secretariat
Establish an independent and proactive ATT Secretariat, adequately resourced to enable support for ATT implementation, with staff appointments based on merit.
5. Strong standard
Apply the provisions of the ATT consistently and robustly to prevent human suffering caused by irresponsible arms transfers.