The Arms Trade Treaty: What Next?
In December 2009, the UN General Assembly voted to start negotiations to achieve an international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by 2012, and create international standards governing the global conventional arms trade. Unlike the trade in items and technologies that could potentially be used in chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, there are no comprehensive, global controls on the international trade in conventional arms. The proposed ATT will be the first of its kind and could serve to close the loopholes that arise because existing agreements do not cover every region, type of transfer, or activity related to the global trade in arms.
The next 18 months leading up to the negotiating conference in July 2012 will be critical in determining the final text of the Treaty - and ultimately whether it will prove fit for purpose. Following the two Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings, not all states are supportive of the ATT and a wide range of opinions remains on what the Treaty should look like. In the time between now and July 2012, there will be two further PrepCom sessions and another meeting on procedural matters, starting in late February 2011, followed by a four-week UN negotiating diplomatic conference that should deliver the final text of the ATT.
In light of this, Chatham House's International Security Programme has organised a half-day roundtable forum in conjunction with Saferworld. This timely event will aim to inform the debate and raise awareness on what remains to be done for the ATT to become an effective and ambitious treaty in order to reduce armed violence and increase stability and security.
The event is a closed, high-level forum held under the Chatham House Rule.
The Chatham House Rule
To enable as open a debate as possible, this event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.