August 28, 2015 – On 24-27 August, the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) participated in the first conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) held in Cancun, Mexico. ASD has followed and supported the ATT since it was first introduced at the UN in 2006. The ATT, which is the first international legally binding treaty aimed at regulating legal international trade in conventional arms and combating illegal trade, was adopted at the UN in New York in April 2013. It entered into force on 24 December 2014. Currently some 73 countries have ratified the Treaty and further 57 have signed it.
The Treaty’s provisions relate, inter alia, to transfer control criteria to be applied by all the States Parties as well as transparency measures such as requirements for national reporting. They are also consistent with the EU internal market rules. The Treaty obligations are not foreseen to increase the administrative burden on already highly regulated European industry, but are expected to drive higher standards of regulation in countries that currently do not operate such comprehensive controls. ASD sees this as a positive step.
ASD Secretary General Jan Pie commented: “We welcome the successful outcome of this landmark conference, and believe the procedural decisions taken regarding the Treaty’s future implementation, modalities and financing will support continuing work to raise the bar for the regulation of the trade in conventional arms globally. The role of industry is enshrined in the Treaty, and many European delegations emphasized its unique and specific expert role in their statements at the conference. We also welcome the conference decisions regarding participation, including that of industry as observer”.
ASD commends the decision to establish the ATT Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. As a hub of various arms control meetings and related organisations, Geneva is undoubtedly well placed to host many of its future activities. ASD is looking forward to working actively and constructively with the first newly elected Head of the ATT Secretariat, Mr. Simeon Dumisali Dladla from South Africa. We remain ready to consult with the States Parties to the Treaty as they work towards finalising the national reporting templates for the Treaty’s implementation.
ASD remains committed to assist in implementing the ATT in a consistent, effective and transparent manner and supports its universalisation to enhance responsible behaviour globally.