Thursday, March 21, 2013

Foreplay... or just treading water?

(c) Jesper Waldersten
Aldous Huxley famously said that an intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex. Clearly, he wasn't a participant in the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations. With the payoff of the first revision of the draft treaty yesterday, we were left smoking a cigarette and feeling slightly down today.
China, in remarking that the President's Non Paper was a good basis for a treaty adoption by consensus, justly noted that states have largely been repeating their old (and well known) positions. With only six working days left "we cannot continue like this". It again taunted the EU (seemingly its favourite new sport) with the claim that while statements by EU delegates were “all beautiful", they were "not beautiful enough" for China to change its position on adherence by "regional integration organisations". Egypt supported the Swiss proposal on prohibitions on transfer (formerly Article 3, now Article 4), which was welcome. The US repeated its opposition to ammunition being in the scope of the treaty, but sounding a little worn and tired these days on this issue.
That aside, states said little of great interest in the plenary in their feedback on the "Scrub plus". They are all waiting for the renewed climax that will arrive with the second revision of the treaty text tomorrow evening. It's going to be a long Friday night in New York...