From March 29th– 30th, members of the Control Arms coalition came together with other stakeholders in a series of workshops in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The events were organized by Asociación para Políticas Públicas, Parliamentarians for Global Action, and Project Ploughshares Canada with other nongovernmental organizations such as Instituto Sou de Paz and Amnesty International Chile also in attendance. It was a forum for parliamentarians, other government leaders, and subject matter experts from civil society from the MERCOSUR region to engage in dialogue about future Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations.

Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, who has chaired ATT negotiations at the United Nations up to this point, opened the workshop with a message about rules of procedure, possible scenarios, outcomes, and challenges for Latin America. Other regional leaders also made statements throughout the two-day workshop. Margarita Stolbizer, a Member of Parliament in Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies and a member of Parliamentarians for Global Action’s Executive Committee also made a strong statement about the need to establish an international standard to regulate the arms trade and prevent the diversion of conventional arms to criminal organizations, terrorists, and drug traffickers.

At the event, many NGO participants also spoke out about why they felt it was necessary for countries around the world to come together this July to adopt a legally binding ATT that regulates all types of arms transfers and supports human rights, international humanitarian law, and socio-economic development.

Ken Epps, of Project Ploughshares Canada remarked “I think an ATT is very important to prevent weapons from getting into the wrong hands.” Jasmin Espinoza, from Amnesty International Chile also spoke out, indicating the need for the human rights and international humanitarian law in the criteria of the Treaty.

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