Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 3 April 2013 and entered into force on 24 December 2014. As called for by Article 17 of the Treaty, a Conference of States Parties (CSP) was convened by the Provisional Secretariat one year after the Treaty entered into force.

The adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty was a historic victory. However, its humanitarian impact will depend on the effectiveness of its implementation. The CSP is an important part of this, since the annual forum is where States Parties, signatories, UN bodies and civil society meet to assess and discuss implementation progress.

First Conference of States Parties (CSP2015)

Cancun – 24-27 August 2015

Preparatory Meetings

The first Conference of States Parties (CSP) to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) took place from 24-27 August 2015 in Cancun, Mexico. It followed five informal and formal preparatory meetings that took place over the previous 12 months, and represented a critical opportunity for States Parties to make decisions to guarantee that the ATT will be implemented robustly.

It was overall a successful meeting, with decisions made including the adoption of the Rules of Procedure; agreeing Financial Rules; agreeing the location, Head and remit of the ATT Secretariat, and agreeing the President, Vice-Presidents and Management Committee for CSP 2016.

Disappointingly, however, despite a considerable amount of work being done ahead of the CSP, States Parties could not agree on templates that they could use as the basis for either their initial or first annual reports that will be falling due starting from 24 December 2015 and on 31 May 2016 respectively. Additionally some debates and decisions highlighted political tensions and a North-South divide in approach and perspectives. Going forward, States must show greater ambition and courage if the ATT is to really make a difference and fulfill its potential.

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