On August 24-27, Mexico will host the First Conference of the State Parties (CSP) to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). This is an important high-profile meeting aimed at establishing the permanent headquarters and a secretariat for the ATT. It is noteworthy that a Latin American nation will host the event. While not major weapons expenders a la the United States or Russia, in recent years Latin American and Caribbean nations have earmarked significant portions of their defense budgets for new acquisitions. Hence, it is important that these two regions are taking a pro-active stance on the future of the global arms trade by helping to shape the ATT’s future.
Just this past February, Trinidad and Tobago hosted the First Preparatory Meeting Towards The First Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty. According to a press release by Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, the meeting in Port of Spain addressed issues like “the format, mandate and configuration of the future Secretariat,” as well as financial regulations. Security expert Rachel Stohl from the Stimson Center noted, however, that the “only matter of substance agreed to … was that the first annual report on authorized arms exports and imports will cover calendar year 2015 with a submission deadline of May 31, 2016.” More meetings have since occurred and others are scheduled with the goal of seeing the August meeting bring momentum to the process.
To read the full article click here.