Control Arms Members work towards ATT Laws and Implementation in South East Asia and Pacific Region
May 10, 2016

Participants from eight South East Asian and Pacific Island countries (Cambodia, Fiji, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Thailand and Vanuatu) came together in Siem Reap, Cambodia, for a Training Workshop on the ATT Laws and Implementation Mechanisms in the two regions. This workshop was facilitated by Nonviolence International, PSAAG, and Control Arms, and was supported by experts from the Governments of Jamaica, Thailand, and Japan, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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The workshop focused on number of specific issues of particular concern to the two regions:
• how to conduct an effective risk assessment;
• developing effective transit and trans-shipment systems for transit-hub countries; and
• how to establish effective national control systems and preparing annual reports.

The workshop generated lively discussions amongst the participants, including exploring the roles and responsibilities of various government departments (eg. customs agencies), questions of legal competence, and exploring the relationship of the ATT with other relevant agreements like the UNPoA, and the UN Convention Against Organised Crime. Case studies used during the final practical exercise to finish the workshop proved to be a very effective way of reinforcing the areas covered during the substantive sessions of the workshop. The 4-day workshop also opened avenues for communications and encouraged sharing of information among the participating countries, including the Caribbean Community, to further their capacities in implementing the ATT.

The momentum from this event has also resulted in greater and sustained engagement with the government officials who attended, and follow-up activities and research pieces are already being discussed especially on the identified similar issues experienced by both Southeast Asia and Pacific countries in attendance.

“States in the Asia-Pacific region need to catch up with the rest of the world and be part of the global community as State Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty”, said Fred Lubang, Regional Representative of Nonviolence International Southeast Asia. “Participants now have a wealth of information and resources to take back and push forward national ratification activities, and we will work with them to strengthen national implementation mechanisms.”

Participants agreed a joint outcome report from the meeting, attached here.