Friday, July 16, 2010

Some thoughts on the first week of the PrepCom

The bloggers' view: We're one quarter of the way through the PrepCom process already, so it's time to take initial stock of where the preparatory process is at. Overall, things have gone slightly better than expected given the process's requirement for consensus, with the (relatively few) States that do not wish to see an ATT at all, or at least not a treaty with any teeth, surprisingly weak in their interventions. While some States have remained fixed in their positions, some movement has been detected among what have been termed "the sceptics", such as Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, China and the Russian Federation. India, for example, seems a little more positive than they were previously.

The USA drew the first major line in the sand on Thursday (Day 4 of the PrepCom) announcing that they would block any attempt to draft a treaty that covered sporting or hunting weapons. This is slightly surprising, given that no one is suggesting that the treaty will regulate sale of weapons within a State, and will only seek to prevent transfer to those that misuse them. So if weapons are sold abroad so that people can go hunting, these transfers will in no way be impeded. Only if they are being used for major crimes, or diverted to unlawful recipients, would there be any impact.

The NGOs were locked out of the room for two afternoons during the week and Friends of the Chair meetings will be mostly behind closed doors next week. It was good to see the campaign make a public response to this disappointing decision, as civil society mobilisation in favour of the treaty has otherwise been rather low key in this first week.

For next week, more framework text is expected from the Chair, maybe even a rolling text by the end of the week. We will continue developing draft text to input into the discussions. So, until Monday, have a good weekend wherever you are.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this very useful and insightful blog!