The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Network

Principal Collaborators at the CCDP: Keith Krause, Oliver Jütersonke and Sandra Reimann


Background

In September 2013 the Geneva Forum and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) launched the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Network, an informal and inclusive platform designed to facilitate the exchange of information, sharing of best practices and practical guidance on ATT implementation; build related capacities and resources; develop networks among different actors and communities; and help states to prepare for ATT follow-up meetings. As a result of institutional changes, today the ATT Network is a joint initiative of four partners: the CCDP; the GCSP; the Small Arms Survey; and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).

When created, the ATT Network pursued the primary goal of contributing to a swift process of ratification and entry-into-force of the treaty around four main objectives :

  1. Providing a space for the exchange of information on matters and activities relevant to implementation of the ATT, including cooperation projects by members;
     
  2. Promoting implementation of the Treaty, in particular by:
  • Addressing specific substantive elements of ATT implementation, with input from experts in the fields of arms control, human rights, and international humanitarian law, inter alia;
  • "Unpacking" Treaty commitments, as relevant, by identifying the specific requirements that they might entail, with a view to developing pragmatic, problem-solving approaches to their implementation;
  • Building capacity and providing resources for appropriate implementation of the Treaty requirements by relevant state practitioners (training courses and material, handbooks, etc.), as needed or requested;
  1. Building a bridge between the various sites and communities whose work is relevant to the implementation of the ATT, such as the disarmament communities in Geneva, New York, Vienna, and organizations active in the areas of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, development, armed violence, inter alia, as well as actors involved in international trade regulation;
     
  2. Assisting States Parties to prepare for ATT follow-up meetings.

The ATT Network intends to be a flexible initiative, able to adapt its activities to initially unforeseen or increasingly prominent needs. It has so far organized two public briefings focusing on arms diversion (on 16 April and 19 June 2014), one informal consultation on options for the future ATT Secretariat (on 27 August 2014) and one public event during the Geneva Peace Week in November 2015.

The ATT Network also focuses on its capacity-building initiatives by organizing one-week professional training courses aimed at government officials responsible for implementing the Treaty and representatives from civil society. Three courses in English have been held in Geneva (April 2014, 2015 and 2016) as well as one in French (December 2014). In addition, a training course in French was held in Addis Ababa in November 2015 for officials from Francophone African countries, in partnership with the African Centre for Peace and Security Training (ACPST).

An ATT Implementation Handbook, a resource intended to provide practical guidance to States Parties to implement the core commitments of the Treaty at the national level, is currently in production. Each chapter or section provides an overview of the relevant ATT commitment, a brief interpretation of the provision, a description of the options for implementing the provision in practice, and a list of useful resources to help the reader find more detailed information and assistance on the relevant topic.