ATT 1st PrepCom: Day Four: Report from Closed Sessions

July 16 2010, 10:04 AM by Øistein Thorsen

By Deepayan Basu Ray, Oxfam

A number of states noted strongly that the scope of the ATT, insofar as weapons is
concerned, should be the broadest possible – notably Jamaica, Cote d’Ivoire, New
Zealand, Peru, Costa Rica, and ICRC. Suggestions for compiling an extended ought
to be based on UNRCA, Waasenaar agreement, EU Register, ECOWAS Convention
on SALW and their ammunition. Colombia also offered elements such as parts,
spare parts, and dual use items for military, police and security purposes. Mexico
specifically called for a comprehensive listing, including items for civilian/sport use,
as these arms have been used often by criminals.

Yet others discussed the UNRCA (7+1/7+1+1) and form of modification or
amendment thereof. Belgium (on behalf of the EU) noted that the UNRCA categories
needed to be widened to ensure a global scope, and that parts and components
specifically designed or modified for military use should also be included. The US
stated that 7+1 needed to be protected from exclusions so as not to weaken the
standard. Uruguay and Brazil expressed support for 7+1+1, with the former also
noting that UN Arms Embargoes have a scope beyond this formulation , also have
clauses on technical training and assistance. The UK noted that the UNRCA was a
good start, but not without fault. It only contains offensive weaponry, and so the need
remains to look at a broader collection that includes equipment “designed or modified
for military use”. Japan stated that there was a need to expand coverage beyond
UNRCA to include all types of military equipment, as the Register only includes
complete weapons. Egypt reiterated policy position on 7, noting that consensus had
not be garnered on the inclusion of SALW. Iran agreed with the Register categories,
while calling for missiles to be excluded.

There was also a call by the US to ensure that a treaty should be flexible to
incorporate new developments in technologies

There were a number of opinions expressed about Small Arms and Light Weapons.
The UK, Uganda, Burundi, and ICRC expressed strong support of including SALW
into the treaty. Italy noted a gap between the PoA and other instruments, and called
for the definitional debate around SALW to be decided. According to the Russian
delegation, SALW are particularly likely to be diverted. Other types of weapons are
much less affected, and less likely to end up on black market. Iran on the other hand
strongly opposed the inclusion of SALW into the treaty. Pakistan saw the SALW
debate as the middle ground.

There was a discussion around the role of sporting weapons, which have been linked
to incidents of armed violence. South Africa and Uganda spoke in favour of this
proposal, and this created an immediate rift between South Africa and the United
States. Italy also expressed reservations for including weaponry designated for
civilian use. The US eventually threatened to walk away from ATT negotiations if the
issue of regulation, registration and control of sporting firearms remains on the table.
Mexico spoke in support of the Ugandan position, noting further that an ATT should
not push to control domestic use of weapons, only their international transfer.
The illicit trade dimension remains a central focus for some of the more vocal
countries in the room, such as Russia.

Ammunition and other munitions continued to be contentious issues. Belgium
(on behalf of EU) spoke in favour of including SALW ammunition, and explosives
specifically designed or modified for military use, also calling for no calibre gaps
between SALW and artillery system categories. The UK supported the inclusion of
munitions for the weapons types covered by an ATT. New Zealand also supported
the inclusion of ammunition in the ATT, and retorted the US position by noting that
many countries’ export controls already include ammunition. On the other hand,
the US position on ammunition appears intractably negative, on the grounds that
controlling ammunition after export was very difficult. Egypt spoke strongly against
including any type of munitions or explosives.

States making reference to the types of transfers tended to reference the broadest
conceptualisation of the categories. For instance, Cote d’Ivoire, Colombia, Japan,
and Uruguay supported the following to be included: export, re-export, import,
transfer, trans-shipment, temporary export, temporary re-export, brokering, passage,
brokering, transit and technology transfer. Costa Rica further proposed the inclusion
of gifts, loans, leases, and transfers for military and security cooperation purposes;
and Peru also suggested donations. The UK called for clarification on definitions.
ICRC further noted that transfers should be in line with 64/48. Uganda further
identified manufacturing, and called for marking to include Country code and code of
manufacturer or factory.

New Zealand, Nigeria, Burundi called for the re-inclusion of civil society.
Egypt stated that it supports South Africa in speaking its mind

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