Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty
The Arms Trade Treaty was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 02 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.
- Ambassador Jorge Lomónaco of Mexico presided over the First Conference of States Parties from 24-27 August 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico.
- Ambassador Emmanuel E. Imohe of Nigeria presided over the Second Conference of States Parties from 22-26 August 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Ambassador Klaus Korhonenof Finland presided over the Third Conference of States Parties from 11-15 September 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland
- Ambassador Nobushige Takamizawa of Japan presided over the Fourth Conference of States Parties from 20-24 August 2018, in Tokyo, Japan
- Ambassador Jānis KĀRKLIŅŠ of Latvia is presiding over the Fifth Conference of States Parties from 26-30 August 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland.
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.
Second Conference of States Parties (CSP2016)
Geneva, 22 – 26 August 2016
The Second Conference of States Parties (CSP 2016) of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) opened in Geneva, Switzerland on 22 August 2016. More than 100 States have registered to attend the conference.
Statements on behalf of the Control Arms Coalition:
- Statement by Geoffrey L. Duke, Control Arms, High Level Opening Panel, 22 August 2016
- Statement by Anna Macdonald, Control Arms, General Debate, 23 August 2016
- Statement by Roy Isbister, Saferworld on behalf of Control Arms, General Debate on Voluntary Trust Fund and Assistance, 23 August 2016
- Statement by Robert Mtonga, Control Arms, General Debate on ATT Reporting, 24 August 2016
- Statement by Cesar Jaramillo, Project Ploughshares and Brian Wood, Amnesty International on behalf of Control Arms , General Debate on Treaty Implementation, 24 August 2016
- Statement by Linnet Ngayu, African Council of Religious Leaders, on behalf of Control Arms, General Debate on Treaty Universalisation, 24 August 2016
- Statement by Shobha Shrestha, Control Arms, General Debate on ATT Secretariat, 25 August 2016
- Conference of States Parties must stop the secrecy and drag $100bn global trade out of the shadows [Spanish] [Portuguese]
- Reaction to end of the second Conference of States Parties [Spanish]
Greater transparency around the arms trade would save countless lives By Anna Macdonald, The Guardian, August 25, 2016
Oxfam: UK ‘in denial’ over Saudi arms sales, AlJazeera, August 24, 2016
Pressure mounts on Western powers to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia, France 24, August 23, 2016
Oxfam accuses UK ministers of being in ‘denial and disarray’ over Saudi arms sales, The National, August 23, 2016
Une semaine cruciale pour le commerce des armes, Le Dauphine, Geneva – August 23, 2016
Arms sales to Saudi ‘illicit’ due to civilian deaths in Yemen: campaigners, Reuters, August 22, 2016
More photos can be found here
Extraordinary Meeting of States Parties
Geneva, 29 February 2016
It may have been called the Extraordinary Meeting of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty, but the only extraordinary thing about the meeting was the refusal of States to actually discuss arms transfers.
Over 75 governments – including 52 States parties, 22 signatories, and 3 observers – attended the Geneva meeting, along with more than 30 NGO and UN representatives.
The meeting did make progress on some procedural issues, including administrative and budget arrangements for the ATT Secretariat, and arrangements for the second Conference of States Parties (CSP), to be held in August later this year. The meeting also agreed to the re-establishment an Informal Working Group on Reporting, with the aim of making progress on templates for States Parties official reports.
Despite irrefutable evidence of serious violations of international law in a conflict that has killed more than 35,000 people, several States Parties and Signatories to the ATT have continued sending weapons to Saudi Arabia, in violation of the Treaty’s obligations. Control Arms therefore made a request to the meeting for an Agenda item to discus the issue. This request was rejected by the President on the grounds that it would be “fraught with danger” to discuss the topic without sufficient time.
Nawal al-maghafi, a Yemeni researcher, addressed the meeting on behalf of Control Arms with the following call to action:
We understand that there is no time to discuss the situation in my own homeland of Yemen today, but states must not wait until the CSP in August to take action. All States should cease arms transfers to any of the warring parties in Yemen immediately. States Parties have an especial legal obligation to do this. There is irrefutable evidence – from the UN and many other credible sources – of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law being committed in the conflict in Yemen, and we urge you to read our report on this issue.
The report – part of Control Arms’ ATT Monitor Project – was the most publicised component of the meeting in the media, despite not being part of the official agenda. See some of the media coverage here.
Note: A full, detailed summary of the Extraordinary Meeting is available here.
Policy Paper: Looking Ahead – Making the ATT Work