The ATT Working Groups on Effective Implementation, Treaty Universalization and Transparency and Reporting as well as the the Second CSP 2018 Informal Preparatory Meeting took place in Geneva on 29 May – 01 June. One of the most significant outcomes from these discussions was the announcement by Japan, as President of the fourth CSP, that diversion will be the CSP’s thematic focus this year,  continuing with the practice initiated by Finland last year when the third CSP had a thematic focus on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Diversion was extensively discussed in the implementation sub-working group on Article 11, where a number of states, including Costa Rica and Mexico, shared practical experiences with diversion as well as concrete measures taken to address this issue. Similar engagement and substantive discussions took place in the sub-working group on Article 5 on general implementation, which focused on efforts towards strengthening information exchange and customs control, challenges with porous and unprotected borders as well as establishing national control lists.  This type of substantive information exchange will inform future discussions on the implementation of Articles 5 and 11 and will help in the development of good practices.

During discussions in the sub-working group on Articles 6 and 7 on Prohibitions, Export and Export Assessment, States shared experiences in implementing Articles 6 & 7, with particular focus on legal frameworks needed to implement Article 6.1. States also discussed a draft guidance document on possible sources to be used to inform the risk assessment process under Articles 6 and 7. Very little time was allocated to the effective implementation of Article 7.4 , with only Ireland and Control Arms making practical proposals towards strengthening States Parties’ understanding of and capacity to implement the gender-based violence (GBV) provision.

Control Arms delegation at the final set of ATT Working Group Meeting and second CSP 2018 Informal Preparatory Conference

While discussions in the Working Group on Treaty Universalization were energized by Chile’s ratification as well as news of Cameroon and Brazil’s plans to join the Treaty, general concern over declining reporting rates was expressed in the Working Group on Transparency and Reporting.  

On the other hand, in emphasizing that reporting is crucial to promoting transparency, states suggested practical measures and supported the development of documents that would assist states to fulfill their reporting obligations.

The second Informal Preparatory Meeting (PrepCom) for CSP 2018, held on 01 June, included a report-back from the Co-Chairs of the three Working Groups and a cursory discussion of the agenda for CSP 2018. An overview of the Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF) Committee was provided by Ambassador Biontino who reported that 14 countries contributed $6.5 million dollars to the VTF, including a $3 million contribution from Japan. On the 2018 VTF funding cycle, 23 proposals were submitted for consideration from 17 States,10 of which were approved for funding from the VTF Committee.

Throughout the week, Control Arms sought to remind delegations of the Treaty’s role in addressing the humanitarian consequences of conflict and armed violence.  Noting the human rights and humanitarian law violations currently taking place in Venezuela, Israel, and Syria, Control Arms stressed the importance of arms embargoes to prevent further arms transfers to areas of concern. Control Arms also continued to draw attention to arms transfers to the warring parties in the Yemen conflict, that have fueled suffering and destruction over the past three years. Control Arms reiterated its call on exporting States Parties, including France and the UK, to share information on their risk assessment and risk mitigation measures, while commending those governments who have changed their policies on arms exports to the Saudi-led coalition.

For additional information please refer to the summary analysis of ATT Working Groups on Effective Implementation, Treaty Universalization and Transparency and Reporting and of the Second CSP 2018 Informal Preparatory Meeting