Looking back to move forward: sharing experiences on implementing regional arms transfer policies for an #armstreaty

July 13 2011, 7:44 AM by Øistein Thorsen

Since there is no use in reinventing the wheel when it comes to implementing arms transfer policies, it is important to see what the experiences are from past implementation process. When it comes to implementing a future Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), it will be interesting to see what challenges States faced in the past and what valuable lessons they learned from this.

By Wim Zwijnenburg, IKV Pax Christi

A wide variety of related processes, ranging from the ECOWAS agreements in Western Africa to Eastern European States that signed up to the EU Code of Conduct, are relevant for getting a better understanding of which type of bureaucratic obstacles need to be overcome in implementing arms transfer polices. Topics such as custom controls, reporting mechanisms, information sharing amongst member states and setting up an effective licensing body are just a short overview of what is needed for an effective arms transfers control system.

But it’s not only the obstacles that are important to highlight. Moreover, increased cooperation as a result of creating regional arms transfer systems have led to more trust and creditability amongst member states. These benefits (and many others) are important to highlight when it comes showing that it is feasible and realistic to create and implement an ATT. No one ever promised that it will be easy, but at least we can use the wheels used in the past to get this vehicle moving.

IKV Pax Christi (Netherlands) and GRIP (Belgium) will organize a side-event on Thursday July 14 in Room C at the UN Head Quarters in New York, at 1.15 PM which will be hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland.

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