|Thursday, 2010-07-15 Morning Session|
At the Thursday morning session of the ATT Preparatory Committee, delegations commented on the draft papers on elements and principles. Among the eighteen speakers were Egypt, Indonesia, France, Norway, and Pakistan.
Egypt stressed that the ATT should distinguish between importers, exporters and states who are involved in trans-shipment because obligations for every states may differ according to the field of trade they are most active in. Egypt mentioned references to human rights and humanitarian law, as well as corruption and money laundering as topics that should not be addressed in an ATT; According to the North African country, the ATT is no forum to address these issues, and they would only complicate the negotiations. Egypt also pointed out that the ATT must not solely focus on a national implementation of the treaty but needs to incorporate international control and monitoring. Furthermore, the delegation stated that it would welcome a paragraph that would ensure that the ATT will not mean a shift in the international cooperation concerning nuclear disarmament.
France responded to Egypt's remarks, making clear their belief that a reference on nuclear weapons is out of place and does not at all relate to the purposes of the ATT. France stated that there should be no distinction between importers, exporters or transit countries, as not every state might remain in its current role forever. Regarding Egypt's wish for international control systems, the French delegate acknowledged the importance of international cooperation, but pointed out that the ATT first of all should give mandates to states. Additionally, France strongly advocated for the incorporation of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in the treaty, as selling countries must be concerned about the humanitarian situation in the recipient country. This position was also supported by Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Norway.
In addition to strongly advocating for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law being included in the treaty, Norway also asserted that, so far, there has been a certain imbalance in the text that has been produced so far; Norway stated that it is mainly focused on state security, and lacks an explicit statement on human security that recognizes the human suffering is caused by irresponsible arms trade. Also, Norway called for the issue of arms-related violence against women to be addressed in the treaty.
In its statement, Indonesia expressed disappointment that its earlier proposal of including the right of territorial integrity had not been incorporated to the draft list of elements. Indonesia claimed that its proposal has been diluted in the current draft text, and that the ATT should include the right to manufacture arms, to self defense, and to territorial integrity. The call for including territorial integrity was also shared by Singapore and Thailand.
The Pakistani delegation noted that the current draft papers give the impression that the treaty is feasible. According to Pakistan, this is not necessarily the case in these early stages. Pakistan proposed that if doubts occur as to whether a certain element or topic should be included in the ATT, the UN Charter should be used as a guideline. The Pakistani delegate stressed that the ATT should in no way permit a state party to affect or prevent bilateral arms trade between two other countries.
Commenting on the draft paper on principles, Israel proposed that it should not only mention to abstain from use of force but also from the threat of use of force. The Israeli delegation stated its belief that including the right of self-determination would adversely affect the goals that the treaty is meant to achieve. Israel also supported the exclusion of transfer of arms within a state from the regulations of the ATT.
Verena Simmel is an intern with the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security. Martin P. Slawek, an intern with the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, contributed additional reporting.