Lebanon has become the 102nd State Party to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) after depositing its instrument of ratification at the UN on Thursday, 9 May 2019.
As the second ATT State Party in the Middle East, after Palestine’s accession in 2017, Lebanon’s ratification represents an important development for a region marred by conflict and armed violence.
Lebanon’s accession can help raise awareness and build momentum towards the Treaty’s universalisation in the Middle East, fostering credibility for the Treaty and contributing to peace and stability. The engagement from states from the Middle East in the ATT process is critical to promoting multilateral solutions to a region that long has bore the brunt of a poorly regulated global arms trade.
Following the deposit ceremony, Ambassador Amal Mudallali of Lebanon stated that: “Lebanon, who knows too well the pain and suffering that conflict and arms bring to humanity, is proud to become the 102nd State Party to the Arms Trade Treaty today. There are millions of people suffering from the consequences of unregulated trade in conventional arms around the world, and the Arms Trade Treaty gives hope to address this. We must work together to seize this historic opportunity and make the implementation of the Treaty a success.”
Ambassador Mudallali’s message was echoed by Fadi Abi Allam of Permanent Peace Movement (PPM), who noted that “Lebanon knows the suffering caused by war, which is why controlling arms is imperative to preventing conflict, terrorism and organzied crime, and the ATT is the most appropriate tool to serve this purpose. Lebanon’s ratification of the Treaty, and its subsequent implementation, will open the door to more ratifications and accessions from other Arab countries”
This achievement was made possible by the tireless work of civil society, particularly Fadi Abi Allam and Christina Foerch of Permanent Peace Movement, a longstanding Control Arms member organization. Describing the progress that led to this achievement, Christina Foerch noted that “PPM worked at all levels to plant seeds of change. At the grassroots through Lebanese schools, raising awareness about the consequences of arms proliferation.
At the national level, bringing together representatives from government and political parties, the security sector, media, education and civil society in order to discuss how the illicit arms flows and illicit possession of weapons are detrimental to a country’s stability and security. At the regional level, through the Arab League, bringing together officials and civil society from different Arab countries to discuss how illicit arms flows allow non-state actors to threaten the safety and security of Arab countries. And at the international level, representing civil society organizations from the region at international fora, including the ATT Conferences of States Parties and the meetings of the UN Program of Action on Small Arms. It’s a long and difficult process, but we believe the seeds of change will flourish, and today we’re happy that Lebanon has ratified the ATT!”