An interactive and well-received 2-day roundtable meeting was organized by Control Arms and Women for Peace & Democracy – Nepal (WPD-Nepal) with funding support from New Zealand in Kathmandu, Nepal on 17-18 May 2018. This meeting on “Promoting Universalization and Strengthening Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty in South Asia” brought together government representatives, parliamentarians and civil society from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
Seeking to advance the universalization and strengthen the implementation of the ATT in the region, the meeting encouraged information sharing and best practices to deepen the knowledge of the ATT among government representatives and civil society, creating a platform where different stakeholders could discuss the ATT and discuss region-specific challenges. Participants examined the concern over porous borders, imbalance within the ATT, lack of capacity and expertise, the necessity of financial and technical assistance, transit countries becoming end-users, and the need for a strong, regional coalition to maintain momentum around the ATT.
The roundtable concluded with the adoption of an outcome document that laid out a roadmap towards strengthening ratification, accession, and implementation efforts, identified key areas where capacity building is necessary, and initiated the establishment of a South Asia Regional Coalition. Participants also pledged commitment to the #SprintTo100 ATT universalization campaign, which aims to see 100 States Parties to the ATT before the 2018 Conference of States, to be held in Tokyo on 20-24 August.