The first training session of the ATT Academy concluded Thursday 23 June, following four days of in-depth learning about the Arms Trade Treaty. The fifteen course participants came from seven countries in the East and Horn of Africa, many of them signatories to the ATT and in the process of putting in place the necessary laws and policies to ratify.

This session focused on the first several articles of the ATT, emphasizing the Treaty’s Scope as well as Articles 6 and 7. Discussion groups, homework assignments and participatory exercises enabled participants to ask questions and relate ATT obligations to their national context. Many noted that this approach helped to break down the Treaty’s articles and demystify them more thoroughly than shorter seminars.

The workshop also identified links between small arms proliferation, the ATT and wildlife poaching, a serious problem in many East African nations, including Kenya. The training took place at Lake Nakuru Lodge, situated in Nakuru National Park, and participants were briefed by park rangers involved in anti-poaching activities and local peace-building projects. A presentation from Kenya Wildlife Service illustrated how the ATT can play a role in reducing wildlife poaching by making it more difficult to access the weapons being used for this purpose. (See this Pace University/Control Arms report on using the ATT to address wildlife poaching).

The participants will meet in late 2016 for a second training that will likely focus more on import and transit obligations, diversion and reporting. There will be two webinars during the interim period as well as a regular email check-in.

The ATT Academy is a project of Pace University and Control Arms, with funding from the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR). Control Arms and Pace University look forward to these next steps and helping participants apply what they learned, in order to advance accession or ratification of the ATT.

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