Report from the Arms Trade Treaty Conference of States Parties 2016 and Prospects for CSP 2017

October 26th, 2016
DNP education
From left to right: Ambassador Juan Sandoval of Mexico, Ambassador Klaus Korhonen of Finland, Ambassador Dell Higgie of New Zealand, Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe of Nigeria, and Anna Macdonald the Director of Control Arms.

    On 24 October the Permanent Mission of New Zealand to the United Nations hosted a review of the Arms Trade Treaty reporting and its progress at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is a multilateral treaty that regulates international trade in conventional weapons, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.. Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe of Nigeria, the second President of the Conference of States Parties (CSP) to the Arms Trade Treaty discussed the achievements made, especially the implementation of the ATT and the issue of universalization. He noted that promoting ATT universalization and proper procedures in dealing s with country-specific challenges were essential.

    Ambassador Klaus Korhonen of Finland serves as the incumbent President of the ATT in CSP3, with a goal towards having countries co-sponsor a draft resolution on the ATT. Ambassador Korhonen noted that the treaty is a strong international legal instrument with high standards and believes that everybody benefits from prohibiting illicit arms trade. The Finnish Presidency is in the phase of creating substantive work plan although they are at an early stage in its implementation. Ambassador Korhonen expressed his desire to work closely with the members of the bureau and working groups to create cross-sectional discussion. Ambassador Korhonen said that he looks forward to working with the United Nations towards serving the same goal and avoiding gaps and duplication of work by the United Nations and the ATT Secretariat.

    Ambassador Juan Sandoval of Mexico discussed his involvement in the Mexican delegation and Presidency at CSP1. Ambassador Sandoval noted the many issues related to arms trafficking and how that impacts the domestic security of many nations, including his own. Ambassador Sandoval welcomed the growing acceptance of a historical document and the continuing growth of membership of the Arms Trade Treaty. Mexico wishes to see a mechanism to examine the United Nations instruments that handle conventional arms and identifying the possible synergy of these measures.

    Control Arms Director Anna Macdonald delivered a civil society perspective of the ATT and its universalization challenges. Ms. Macdonald said that Control Arms overviewed the full range of reports and research in the twelve different side events that they participated in, mainly country specific case studies, examples and case studies of compliance, lessons learned from implementation, and diversion reporting. She mentioned that one notable accomplishment was the membership of all European Union Countries, which occurred recently. She said that Control Arms plans to strive for increased transparency in arms trade to have a stronger indication of the amount of arms that are being sold worldwide.
Drafted by Anthony Musa