Following a panel discussion on the Arms Trade Treaty, which entered into force in December 2014, hosted by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs sat down with Rachel Stohl, Senior Associate at the Stimson Center and a former consultant to the United Nations, to discuss the negotiation process of the treaty, as well as its domestic and international political significance.
GJIA: How did UN member countries reconcile the various arms-control regulations and standards that exist across the international community to draft an agreeable treaty?
RS: We started with the view that the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) should be a floor, not a ceiling. In other words, we thought that there needed to be a minimum set of standards concerning the trade of conventional weapons. Not every country needs a system as complicated as that of the United States, but everyone needs to have a basic structure to their regulatory system. That might range from having a national control list to identifying criteria that would be used to evaluate arms transfers. We knew that a one-size-fits-all national exports system wouldn’t be practical, but we understood that we needed pieces of such a system to help raise the standards that countries presently maintain.
To read the full interview click here.