Control Arms Policy Response to New Chair’s Papers in Tweets

July 16 2012, 3:47 PM by Øistein Thorsen

Week 3 of the #armstreaty negotiations are underway.

In response, the Chair issued a number of draft texts which Control Arms have spent the day analysing and lobbyin to improve. Below are the key points – good and bad – we have are pushing summed up in tweets from @ControlArms.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Goals and Objectives clearly state that one main purpose of the treaty is to prevent human suffering
  • Chair’s new ‪#armstreaty‬ text lacks clarity on Goals, i.e. support UN Charter; poverty reduction; and prevention of conflict/armed violence

Scope:

  • New ‪#armstreaty‬ text circulated on Friday on Scope: @controlarms is concerned about serious loopholes, exclusions and definitional problems
  • @ControlArms welcome that new papers’ list of weapons to be covered by the ‪#armstreaty‬ is more comprehensive than in past drafts
  • BUT reference to UN register for included items like tanks, artillery, aircraft, helicopters, missiles and ships as it is too narrow
  • @jeffabramson of @controlarms on new ‪#armstreaty‬ papers “It makes no sense to have a treaty excluding so-called “non-military small arms”
  • New ‪#armstreaty‬ text fails to define the transfer activities to be covered. Can’t allow states to decide for themselves what to regulate

Criteria:

  • @controlarms worried new ‪#armstreaty‬ papers does not include a clear obligation to prevent transfers where substantial risks of abuse exists
  • New Chair’s paper on ‪#armstreaty‬ criteria omits any reference to impacts on sustainable development, corruption, and armed violence

Implementation:

  • The new Chair’s ‪#armstreaty‬ text on implementation is confused, very strong/prescriptive in some areas, very weak/permissive in others
  • New Chair’s paper introduces concept of mitigation. To be effective it must be of sufficiently high standard and applied before the transfer
  • #armstreaty‬ text says existing contracts must be fulfilled – this would prevent a halt of exports if human rights abuses became apparent
  • Brokering provision in new ‪#armstreaty‬ text is far too weak to control the deadly activities of arms dealers like ‪#VictorBout‬
  • No public transparency or reporting on transfers in new ‪#armstreaty‬ text would make it difficult to hold states to account

Follow the #Armstreaty negotiations on @controlarms

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