UN: Optimism as Preparatory Committee on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) ends

On 17 February, the fourth ATT Preparatory Committee ended after states finally agreed on rules of procedure for the final negotiations in July this year. One outcome was that all decisions in the negotiations will be adopted ‘by consensus’. However, several states made it clear that this does not mean a single state will be able to veto provisions in the final Treaty. It was agreed that NGOs will be allowed access to most sessions, and granted a time slot to formally address delegates. IANSA Campaigns and Outreach Coordinator Bruce Millar said "Although this PrepCom was slowed by intense negotiations on procedural matters, the Chair's non-paper drafted at the third PrepCom in July 2010 survived and provides a good foundation for the negotiations this summer. We are pleased that many states have expressed their support for the inclusion of small arms and light weapons and ammunition in the scope of the ATT, as well as references to victim assistance, cooperation and assistance, and gender based violence. However, we will need to remain active and vigilant to make sure these issues are included in the final treaty text". More information, articles and opinion pieces on the PrepCom are available here.