Monday, July 11, 2011

First Day of the Third PrepCom

Overview of the day's discussions

The President's recently circulated paper on national implementation was the subject of discussion on Day 1 of the Third PrepCom.

Barbados on behalf CARICOM want to see provision made for penal sanctions for those who violate the future treaty. They support strong implementation mechanisms.

The EU supports the general approach taken in the President's paper. The implementation of the treaty should remain a national responsibility. No obligations should be imposed with respect to non-State actors. Trans-shipment and brokering should also be included in the implementation section. The EU also stressed the importance of the transparency provision. Obligations should be imposed to regularly report on the respect and implementation of the treaty.

Australia noted that the treaty is not only for exporter States: all States must take the necessary measures to implement the treaty. Functional provisions on implementation are crucial to the success of the treaty.

The United States said that it would be a mistaken assumption that the ATT could solve problems that are beyond the scope. It is not an arms control treaty or a treaty that bans certain activities. It is a regulation of a legitimate activity.

The US noted, however, that it has never been an obligation upon any State to sell arms to certain other States. There is no right to receive arms.

An effective ATT would act as an incentive to push States to implement a national mechanism for implementation. The ATT will not be able to ban certain activities from happening but will make it more difficult for illicit brokering or actors to acquire arms.

The US stated that there should not be a provision of compensation for victims.

The Russian Federation did not believe that there was a clear and common understanding of an ATT, therefore they were building the roof of a house without the necessary foundations. They felt that discussions on implementation should only take place when the objectives of the treaty had been agreed, otherwise there would be an overly abstract discussion.

Norway stated that transparency would build confidence in the treaty. The ATT should be seen as the floor not the ceiling.

Trinidad and Tobago stressed the importance of the duty to cooperate. It wanted to see criminal provisions and criminalization of conduct prohibited in the treaty included (such as illicit brokering activities that take place under the jurisdiction or control of a State Party).

Japan called for a strict national export control mechanism. Japan can subscribe in principle to what the Chair's paper proposed. Transparency measures, such as reporting, are very important. An effective mechanism for information exchange should be provided, such as for example in meetings of States Parties. Japan wondered why brokering and corruption are in the implementation section.

Mexico felt that the ATT should allow for national higher standards. Respect for human rights and IHL should be a fundamental pillar for the treaty. The treaty should avoid to include terms such as ‘political abuse’ which can only undermine the strength of the treaty.  International cooperation and assistance will be a key component of the treaty. Cooperation in national implementation, taking into account capacities of different States, is also important.

Tanzania supported the provisions on international cooperation and assistance and on victim assistance in the implementation section.

China said that the sovereign right to trade in arms was the future of the ATT. Consensus was essential.  The UN register should inspire the ATT. Transparency was also an essential element.

The UK said that implementation translates words into actions. It agrees with the thrust of the Chair’s paper. The National Authority is fully supported. A control list will also be important. On transfer denials, they see the logic but feel it is not workable at this stage.

Regular reporting will be very valuable. International collaboration should run throughout this part of the treaty.  The implementation support unit with a small area of action, created by States to serve States, should be the way forward.

Cuba said that several elements in the Chair's paper were not acceptable to Cuba, but they believe that the text will motivate consensus. Any future ATT must not be discriminatory or be based on political motivations if it is to be acceptable to Cuba. It called for respect for the right to self-defense.

Argentina said that implementation should be a national responsibility, and the ATT should be in accordance with IHL and human rights.

France said that the ATT had two main aims: to regulate international trade and also illicit transfers. Each State must put in place a national implementation system for the treaty. Common elements had to be defined but latitude had to be left to national bodies. Cooperation  and information exchange on the control mechanisms was important. The Chair's paper was a good basis. It was also pleased with the provision on judicial cooperation on criminal law.

It did not think linking brokering and corruption was appropriate. One was legal, while corruption was not. It did not support an obligation to notify of transfer denials. This could impede good relations between States. A secretariat could effectively assist in organising meetings of States Parties and circulating State reports.

Israel said that implementation is the responsibility of States. Record-keeping and reporting needs careful analysis. A mechanism which would be excessive and which could touch on sensitive political issues should be avoided.

Switzerland welcomed the content of the Chair's paper. It supports a strong ATT and an ambitious instrument. The text refers to jurisdiction and control whereas it should say or

Pakistan said that consensus has not been reached on key aspects of the treaty, its scope and criteria in particular. This should be done before talking about implementation and final provisions issues.

Germany cannot conceive of how a committee at the national level could work in particular concerning the denial of transfers.

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