Six-Point Plan to Promote Implementation of the #Armstreaty

June 15 2011, 8:15 AM  by Oistein Thorsen

The next Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) preparatory committee starts in one month (July 11-15th) in New York and the topic of conversation is implementation of the eventual treaty. To help support the talks the Control Arms Alliance has published an updated version of its “Position Paper 4: Promoting Implementation of the ATT”. In short, the paper sets out a six-point roadmap to ensure strong implementation of the ATT.

By Roy Isbister, Saferworld

1. The main responsibility for effective implementation rests with national authorities.  They will need to have clear national legislation and effective administrative systems capable of fulfilling all the obligations set out in the Treaty.

2. Effective implementation requires transparency. The treaty must oblige States to collect and report on data sufficient to enable meaningful independent scrutiny of implementation of the Treaty. 

3. Monitoring and reviewing the Treaty will require at a minimum an annual Meeting of States Parties (MSP) as the main Treaty oversight and decision-making body. In addition a Review Conference should be held every five years.  An independent Treaty institution, such as an ATT Implementation Support Unit (ISU), will be necessary to support and promote day-to-day implementation by States.

4. Raising questions and concerns relating to compliance and disputes should be every State’s right, bilaterally or at the annual MSP. However, where all co-operative means to resolve an implementation failure have been exhausted it may be necessary to involve an external body, such as the International Court of Justice.

5. The ATT should include a comprehensive framework for international co-operation and support, where States can request and receive implementation assistance from other states and relevant international, regional, and sub-regional bodies.

6. Entry into force should not be dependent on ratification by any one country or specific group of countries.  It should be based on the minimum number necessary for the Treaty to be workable, for example, 30 state ratifications.
For more information on what would be necessary at the national level to implement a robust Treaty, please read “National implementation of the proposed Arms Trade Treaty: a practical guide”, published by CITSOxfam and Saferworld.

For more on the international aspects of Treaty implementation, see “Making it work: monitoring and verifying implementation of an ATT”, by Saferworld.