The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa is holding an “African Seminar to Prepare for the Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty”, in partnership with the International Action Network on Small Arms. The Seminar, to be held from 7 to 8 March in Addis Ababa, will bring together more than 55 governmental representatives from African States, as well as representatives of regional and subregional organizations in Africa and African civil society. The President-designate of the Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, Ambassador Peter Woolcott (Australia), will participate in the seminar.
Participants will discuss the progress made to date in the negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty and deepen their understanding with regard to the scope, criteria, parameters and implementation of the Treaty, as well as prepare for the negotiations during the Final Conference, scheduled from 18 to 28 March in New York.
The Seminar received financial support from the Governments of Australia, Germany, Netherlands and New Zealand.
The Centre has been actively engaged in assisting African States in the Arms Trade Treaty process. A first regional seminar was held in May 2012 in Addis Ababa to prepare African States for the 2012 Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty. The present seminar is organized in preparation for the final Arms Trade Treaty Conference.
To date, the global trade in conventional arms remains largely unregulated, which contributes to fuelling armed conflicts, violating international humanitarian law and human rights, as well as undermining socioeconomic development.
United Nations Member States began discussing the adoption of a robust, balanced and effective treaty that would regulate the global trade in conventional weapons in 2006. From 2 to 27 July 2012, States gathered in New York to negotiate the terms and conditions of an Arms Trade Treaty. Though negotiations ended without adopting a treaty, a draft treaty text (A/CONF.217/CRP.1) was submitted by the President of the United Nations Conference to form the basis for continued negotiations on an Arms Trade Treaty. The General Assembly, by resolution 67/234, also decided to convene for the Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York in March 2013.