ATT 2nd PrepCom Summaries: March 4, 2011 (AM Session)

April 13 2011, 10:30 AM by sameerkanal

This post is the ninth and final 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

Friday, 3/4/2011, Morning Session

Hungary (European Union)
Hungary called for an ‘incremental improvement’ to the revised draft paper, noting that the March version was an improvement over the February version in their view. Hungary believed that the principles were generally good, and that the scope section of the non-paper [March 2011 version] was ‘close to ensuring’ a wide scope. Hungary supported the parameters section as well as the international cooperation and assistance section of the non-papers, but opposed the inclusion of victim assistance in the future Arms Trade Treaty.

In addition to agreeing with the Hungarian statement on behalf of the European Union, Denmark added that they felt the definition of transfer was inconsistent, defined in some places as a standalone activity and in others as a category of activities. Denmark supported the inclusion of brokering in the scope, but noted that presently, the criteria only applied to transfers, not necessarily to brokering – which they wished to see resolved in future drafts. Denmark ‘supports the initiative to include grenades [and] military explosives’ in the scope of the treaty. Finally, Denmark believed that hunting and sporting weapons should not be included, but was open to regulating large shipments of them if it excluded ‘one or two on a temporary basis’ from regulation.

Algeria expressed its belief that the documents produced by the Chairman were designed to be a broad starting point for the real negotiation. Algeria called upon states at the PrepCom to begin ‘deleting elements of contention from the documents.’ Reaffirming their belief in consensus negotiations, Algeria suggested deletion of the criteria related to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, stating that they ‘can be politicized for political ends.’ Algeria also opposed inclusion of victim assistance. Finally, Algeria called for increased ‘regional and sub-regional aspects in the international cooperation and assistance section.’

Costa Rica
Costa Rica strongly supported the inclusion of the parameter related to development, as well as a criterion on corruption. Costa Rica believed that transfers should be denied if there was likelihood of corruption, ‘even if there isn’t an easily identifiable pattern of corruption.’ Costa Rica believed that ‘internal security’ items should be included in the scope, which in Costa Rica’s view should ‘regulate all conventional weapons – not just military ones.’

Bulgaria noted that they believed the treaty could only relate to activities taking place after its ratification. They also made minor wording corrections, including notes of redundancy between the items and activities lists under the scope section.

Norway called for the inclusion in the preamble of ‘a reference to the victims of armed violence.’ Additionally, they desired reference to be made to Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820 and 1888 on women, peace and security. Finally, Norway wanted the document to reference the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities in the context of victims of armed violence.

Egypt found the concept of one state judging others on their compliance with human rights or international humanitarian law to be problematic, stating that ‘we need to make use of UN institutions on judgments to be made’ rather than relying on exporters’ decisions. Egypt expressed concern that the current text made importers ‘just the subject of the importation.’ Consequently, Egypt called for the inclusion of rights and of responsibilities pertaining to importers.

Ethiopia reaffirmed the need to reference self-defense and sovereignty rights in the future ATT, and thanked the Chairman for including principles, goals and objectives in the non-paper [March 2011 version]. Ethiopia stated that they only support the seven categories of the UN Register for inclusion in the scope. Finally, Ethiopia reaffirmed the need for implementation to be conducted by states.

Japan agreed with Denmark’s earlier statement, and clarified their earlier remarks as well, stating that all transfers cannot be equally controlled by all states, but that export and import are definitely types of transactions that Japan believed could have all criteria applied to them.

Ireland endorsed the EU statement, reaffirming their support for ammunition’s inclusion in the treaty. Ireland supported the inclusion of ‘munitions’ which in addition to ammunition would include grenades, land mines and other categories of arms they sought to have included in the future Arms Trade Treaty.

Iran called for a preamble non-paper to be created in advance of the July 2011 PrepCom, separate from the principles section of the document. Iran objected to the phrase ‘though states have a right to produce arms, they have no obligation to do so,’ calling this a ‘dangerous concept.’ Another item of objection to Iran was the ability to adopt ‘more restrictive measures than those presented in the ATT.’ Iran noted that there was no explicit recognition of the right to development, but there was talk of the economic interests of arms-exporters. Iran also highlighted the fact that there was still no reference ‘to electromagnetic and other modern conventional arms.’ Finally, Iran noted that they had 2 diplomats to the PrepCom denied US entry visas in July 2010, and 1 denied in February 2011, and insisted that this could not continue in the forthcoming negotiation process.

Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago called for the inclusion of a section of definitions of key terms. Trinidad & Tobago also supported the inclusion of prevention of diversion under the treaty’s objectives. Finally, Trinidad & Tobago stated that ‘we need to include women in any discussion dealing with peace and security […] we stand supportive of any and all references to gender-based violence in the treaty.’

Mexico (on behalf of Bahamas, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago)
Mexico supported the inclusion of diversion as an item to be prevented under the goals of the treaty. The friendly states supported SALW as essential to the treaty’s scope. Finally, the friendly states supported language changes that would enable arms developed in the future to be regulated by the treaty.

Kenya supported strongly the inclusion of SALW and Ammunition in the treaty’s scope. Kenya also stated that they supported the criteria and parameters section, as well as the international cooperation and assistance section, of the Chairman’s non-paper [March 2011 version].

The Netherlands also called for a clearer definition of the term ‘transfer,’ as well as resolution to the question of if sporting and hunting weapons were to be included in the future treaty or not. Finally, the Netherlands asked for a clearer definition that would include military explosives in the treaty’s scope explicitly, as it was currently open to question if they were included or not.

Pakistan promoted the goal of universality in the revisions between the current and future non-papers of the Chair. Pakistan noted that since 2006, an expansive scope has been promoted, calling it ‘neither new nor a minority view.’

Syria noted that its written suggestion to the Chair had not been included in the current non-paper [Chairman’s March 2011 version]. Syria requested that future revisions take their concerns into account as well. Syria asked what the rights and obligations were, as well as the motivations, for major exporters under the text that would promote adherence to the treaty. This question was asked broadly, and Syria called upon the PrepCom to answer it through further provisions.

Nigeria used its time to briefly reaffirm its support for the inclusion of SALW in the non-paper [March 2011 version].

Senegal supported the inclusion of SALW and munitions in the Chairman’s non-paper [March 2011 version]. Senegal agreed with Mexico’s statement calling for the inclusion of preventive mechanisms against diversion to non-state actors. Senegal also called for a standing mechanism to facilitate international cooperation and assistance, as well as victim assistance.

Jamaica (CARICOM)
CARICOM was pleased at the inclusion of SALW, Ammunition, Parts and Components in the non-papers [March 2011 version]. They expressed concern, however, with the lack of ability to add new types of weapons as they are developed. Also, the definition of munitions being dropped concerned Jamaica, as it led to gaps such as grenades’ non-inclusion. CARICOM also supported the dedicated Secretariat for implementation, as well as for international cooperation and assistance. Finally, Jamaica called for criteria related to the ‘proliferation record of states’ that would receive the potential transfer.

Cuba highlighted the importance of the principles section of the document, and called for its inclusion in the ‘operative section’ of the treaty rather than in the preamble. Cuba also agreed with suggestions for ‘an express prohibition of transfer of arms to non-state actors.’ Cuba opposed the establishment of information-sharing mechanisms as well, and expressed flexibility on other provisions so long as the treaty was not ‘subjective, discriminatory or political.’

India endorsed the process of determining goals and objectives before other areas of the treaty. India supported as one of the goals the prevention of transfers to non-state actors, as well as of illicit transfers. India opposed any reference to production, as they believed the treaty was designed to regulate trade in arms.

New Zealand
New Zealand made numerous wording adjustments, arguing that the language needed to be ‘tightened’ across the papers. New Zealand argued that Iran’s objection to states going above and beyond their obligations didn’t make sense, stating that ‘the notion that an instrument’s regulations are a ceiling as well as a floor is not supported by current international law or international practice.’

CARICOM justified the inclusion of sustainable development in the treaty, not noting where it should be included however, by noting the ninth preambular paragraph of GA resolution 61/89, which called upon the Secretary-General to seek the views of states. CARICOM also noted with regards to scope that they ‘wouldn’t want to exclude any instruments, including their ammunition, which are a part of our concern.’

Russian Federation
Russia endorsed the international cooperation and assistance section of the non-paper [March 2011 version], stating that ‘success can only be achieved through the pooling of states’ capacities rather than dividing them.’ Additionally, Russia reaffirmed its support for a consensus-based negotiation process.

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