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Future Prospects for the Arms Trade Treaty: The Secretariat, Treaty Implementation and Beyond

Public Discussion


As part of the Geneva Peace Week, the ATT Network (composed of the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding –CCDP-, the GCSP, Small Arms Survey, and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research –UNIDIR-) organized a panel discussion on: “Future Prospects for the Arms Trade Treaty: The Secretariat, Treaty Implementation and Beyond”. The panel was chaired by Professor Keith Krause, Director of CCDP and Small Arms Survey, and panelists were: Marc Finaud (GCSP), Sarah Parker (Small Arms Survey), Himayu Shiotani (UNIDIR) and Takhmina Karimova (Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights).

The following points were addressed by the panel:

- The fact that the Secretariat of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is now located in Geneva is a good opportunity for a multi-stakeholder approach involving international organizations, NGOs, think tanks in support of Treaty implementation by the States Parties. In particular, as the ATT Network has already shown, Geneva-based institutions can be useful in researching and making relevant information available to governments, building capacities and contributing to international cooperation and assistance.

- In doing so, all stakeholders can rely on past experiences of Geneva-based processes as well as existing treaty-based mechanisms, such as the ones on small arms and light weapons (SALW), antipersonnel landmines or cluster munitions. Similarly, existing cooperative efforts on defining international standards for small arms control (ISACS), ammunition technical guidelines (IATG), physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) can create synergies that will help implementing ATT obligations.

- Since one main component of the ATT is the obligation for exporting states to evaluate the risk that their transfers may contribute to serious violations of international human rights or humanitarian law, Geneva-based institutions active in upholding and promoting such norms will have an important role to play along with civil society organizations.

In conclusion, panelists expressed some confidence that, if implemented in good faith, the ATT may have a positive impact on making arms transfers more transparent and responsible, thus contributing to reducing human suffering. Regarding effective prevention and eradication of the illicit arms trade, this will require more efforts and time.

This Panel was organised by the ATT Network (CCDP, GCSP, Small Arms Survey and UNIDIR).



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