Control Arms officially launched the second Annual Report of the ATT Monitor project on the first day of the Second Conference of States Parties to the ATT (CSP2016). The project is a central and trusted source of information on the implementation and impact of the ATT around the world.
The report was launched by Deepayan Basu Ray, the project coordinator. He introduced the main themes and content of the report, including a special focus on the implementation challenges and status of the ATT in Africa, in line with Nigeria’s Presidency of the CSP this year.
The report starts with a commentary on the status of the ATT and the progress made in the last year. It finds that while the pace of universalization globally remains positive, progress has been inconsistent between regions, especially in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. States must also redouble their efforts to ensure effective and meaningful implementation if the Treaty is to achieve its potential.
In addition to its thematic focus on Africa in Chapter 1, the report introduces the Monitor’s “Risk Watch” methodology, through which the project intends to synthesise and analyse credible information on arms transfer-related risks in contexts of concern. As States continue to grapple with the concept of risk, this project will help to create a more balanced knowledge base among States Parties, and will be a guide both to their own comprehensive risk assessments, and to them and civil society in the analysis of licensing practice.
The report also provides a detailed analysis of the first initial reports submitted by States Parties, as well as a brief assessment of the first annual reports on imports and exports that had been submitted before the 31 May deadline set by the Treaty.
Speakers on the panel included representatives of the core supporters of the ATT Monitor: Australia, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Ambassador John Quinn of Australia welcomed the development of the Monitor’s analytical tools, noting that the new phase of the ATT meant there was both a need for careful analysis of publicly available information, and constructive cooperation between States and civil society. Ambassador O’Brien of Ireland voiced confidence in the Monitor remaining a voice for compliance and accountability, while Mark Versteden of the Netherlands highlighted the significant role the Monitor can play in ensuring greater transparency within the ATT, also complimenting the Monitor’s recent case studies on transfers to South Sudan and Saudi Arabia for bringing the conversation from high-level abstract discussions and applying the ATT to real life cases.
As Basu Ray noted in his presentation, “Meaningful implementation means changing behaviour, not just legislation.” The ATT Monitor will continue to provide a vital service to States in the future as they work to ratify, implement, and comply with the legal obligations of the ATT.
The ATT Monitor Annual Report 2016 can be downloaded at http://armstreatymonitor.org/en/the-2016-report/