The signatory countries of the Arms Trade Treaty [ATT] will huddle together in Berlin to prepare for the ATT’s entry into force on December 24, 2014. Of the global arms trade, the top five importing countries are in the South and West Asian region — India, China, Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia. It is a landmark achievement by the Arms Trade Treaty negotiators that the top five producers in 2013 — the P-5 of the United Nations Security Council — Russia, US, China, France and the United Kingdom — eventually ceded adoption of the Treaty. UK, France and Germany among top producers are states parties and ATT advocates. Of the top importers only the UAE has signed the treaty.
What’s at stake in Berlin are the nuts and bolts of the Arms Trade Treaty, according to Rachel Stohl, arms control expert, Stimson Center. These include Secretariat responsibilities, staff, sizing, mandates and participation of the signatories, non-government organisations, industry, rules of procedure, voluntary trust fund and precisely how the reporting is going to work.
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