ATT 2nd PrepCom Summaries: March 3, 2011 (PM Session)

April 13 2011, 10:23 AM by sameerkanal

This post is the eighth in a series summarizing the statements given at the Second PrepCom for the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, held February 28-March 4, 2011 in New York. For more information on states’ positions, please visit our “Mapping the Arms Trade Treaty” project at

Thursday, 3/3/2011, Afternoon Session

Brazil expressed skepticism about the inclusion of parts and components, technology, and equipment in the treaty’s scope, and strongly opposed the inclusion of dual use items and technology in the scope of the treaty. Brazil also stated that they were considering the inclusion of military explosives, sporting and hunting weapons, and needed more specific definitions regarding these classes of conventional arms. Brazil ‘regretted’ the lack of a specific ban on transfers to Non-State Actors under the criteria section of the non-paper [March 2011 version]. Additionally, they opposed the inclusion of the parameter related to socio-economic development, arguing that it violated the principle of non-interference in another state’s affairs. Finally, Brazil proposed the inclusion in the list of information sources of the governmental authorities of the recipient state.

Colombia’s statement focused on their national experience, primarily with regards to Small Arms and Light Weapons. Based on this experience, Colombia argued for strong controls on diversion, specifically to Non-State Actors. Colombia sought a scope that included military explosives as well. With regards to the criteria, Colombia noted that sellers and buyers have ‘equal or similar obligations and rights’ but provisions currently applied only to exporters. Finally, Colombia opposed the treaty having any relationship with non-states party.

Venezuela opposed the inclusion of technology transfer in the treaty’s scope, arguing that preventing such transfers was discriminatory to developing countries. Venezuela also was ‘disappointed’ that arms production and producers were not explicitly referenced in the treaty, differentiated from exporters in terms of their responsibilities. Venezuela argued that the producers of the ‘largest arms arsenals’ worldwide bore a unique responsibility for the effects of these arms in addition to any role they might have as an exporter as well.

Egypt referred to the Chairman’s non-papers [March 2011 version] as a ‘maximalist’s text,’ and told other delegations that it would need to be narrowed down in order to become a consensus document. Egypt noted that this had been said before, but the document had ‘moved from being very ambitious to one that is extremely ambitious’ as time has gone on. Egypt joined Iran in calling for a document for use during the negotiations that would reflect all states’ opinions, as opposed to what was felt to be the dominant strain of opinion. Egypt mentioned again the concern of states, including Egypt, regarding ammunition or categories beyond the seven of the UN Register of Conventional Arms.

Spain associated itself with the European Union’s statements on the Chairman’s non-paper [March 2011 version]. Spain devoted its statement to stating in a national capacity that implementation was vital in order to determine the right balance between necessary standards and state capacities, as well as between exporters and importers.

Italy added to the European Union’s earlier statements a comment in a national capacity. Supporting a list-based, positive definition of what would be included in the treaty’s scope, Italy noted the change from the February 2011 to March 2011 versions of the Chairman’s non-paper which no longer references hunting and sporting weapons, after explicitly excluding them previously. Italy reaffirmed that they believed these weapons should not be included in the treaty’s scope.

Highlighting the low cost and accessibility, as well as lack of regulation, of Small Arms and Light Weapons and ammunition, and the impact of these upon the human condition, Malawi reaffirmed that both Small Arms and Light Weapons and ammunition must be included in the scope of an Arms Trade Treaty. Malawi argued that ‘protection of civilians must be part and parcel of an ATT.’

China called for the exchange of views on the new version of the Chairman’s non-paper [March 2011 version] before they would give their specific comments on the text, but did note that their position on scope and parameters had not changed.

Japan noted that they had spoken previously but wanted to add a comment, related to the text of the non-paper [March 2011 version]. Japan wanted the term ‘transfer’ to refer explicitly to physical movement and transfer when requiring states to evaluate each transfer on the basis of the established criteria. Japan wanted to apply the criteria only under the existing legal framework of the state performing the evaluation and not require new legislation to be passed.

Israel called for the inclusion of a provision in the future treaty that would prevent diversion of conventional arms to non-state actors. Israel suggested the deletion of the list of sources of information for use in evaluations, arguing that the quality of information was more important than the source. Finally, Israel opposed the inclusion in the treaty of provisions related to victim assistance, stating that the ATT was ‘not the relevant context’ for such text.

India called for more explicit reference to be made to the respect for the right of states to self-defense. India also expressed their hope that the future ATT would deal with the rights and responsibilities of both importers and exporters, viewing the current non-paper [Chairman’s March 2011 version] as too focused on exporters. India also called for any items to be included in the treaty beyond the register to be clearly defined. The Indian delegation also rejected technology transfer or manufacture’s inclusion on the list of regulated activities. India favored the deletion of references to international commitments, favoring only a requirement on states to fulfill their obligations. India still believed that the criteria related to armed violence, peace and security, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international crimes, poverty reduction, socio-economic development, sustainable development, diversion to unauthorized end-users (including the risk of corruption), transnational organized crime and terrorism were all ‘too subjective,’ and called for them to be ‘rethought’ or removed. Finally, India requested the inclusion of an explicit ban on transfer of regulated arms to Non-State Actors.

Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago affirmed the need for the treaty to ‘make provisions’ for technological advancement. Trinidad & Tobago also offered wording changes for the Principles section of the Chairman’s non-paper [March 2011 version]. Trinidad and Tobago supported the inclusion of corruption in the documents, and closed its statement by once again calling for a dedicated Secretariat for treaty implementation.

Indonesia’s comments focused on the criteria section of the Chairman’s non-paper [March 2011 version]. Indonesia did not support the inclusion of ‘all international law’ in the treaty, wanting the text to be ‘reformulat[ed] so that interpretation can be limited to certain international law’ without being more expansive. Indonesia opposed the inclusion of the development criterion, stating that it contradicts the principle of non-interference. Finally, with regards to International Humanitarian Law, Indonesia called for the parameter to state that transfers would be banned if they posed a risk of ‘serious and systemic violations of IHL’ rather than merely ‘serious violations.’

Tanzania made a brief intervention in which they focused upon the need for a ‘follow-up mechanism’ for inclusion in the implementation portion of the future ATT. This provision ‘would include mechanisms addressing the issue of non-compliance.’

Zimbabwe referred to the absence of language specifically preventing transfers or diversions of arms to non-state actors, stating that non-state actors ‘need to be targeted by the ATT.’ Zimbabwe also stated that while the ATT is not a disarmament treaty, importers needed to be focused upon as well as exporters; Zimbabwe argued that the ‘omission of obligations on importers’ needed to be remedied before the text became the final treaty.

Peru agreed with Uruguay, Colombia and Mexico, who all favored ‘specific inclusion of avoiding diversion to the illicit market.’ Peru also agreed with these states on the need to include new weapons as technology developed. Peru believed that a mechanism, such as a ‘committee of experts,’ would help by ‘determin[ing] on an ongoing basis what should be covered by the treaty.’ As a starting point, Peru believed it was vital to include SALW, and that ammunition was a welcome addition as well. Finally, Peru agreed with Brazil, who stated that criteria needed to be developed for importers as well as for exporters.

1699 views and 1 response