The second Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) session on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 28 February to 4 March 2011. The purpose of the PrepCom is to make recommendations on the elements for an effective and balanced legally-binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms. The Meeting was chaired by Roberto Garcia Moritán of Argentina.
The main issue before the meeting was discussion of a series of revised Chairman’s papers which included the following major themes that may form the basis of the Treaty to be concluded in 2012:
- Preamble/ Principles
- Goals and Objectives
- Scope (type of equipment and types of transfers covered)
- Criteria and parameters for the transfer of arms
- International cooperation and assistance mechanisms
These and other topics will be taken up at the next session of the PrepCom scheduled to take place in New York from 11-15 July 2011.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) representing a wide spectrum of civil society made presentations to attending delegates during an informal session of the PrepCom. They included Oxfam, Saferworld, IANSA, Amnesty International, the Defense Small Arms Advisory Council and the World Forum on the future of Sport Shooting Activities.
Half a dozen well-attended side events took place in the margins of the PrepCom organised by Governments, NGOs and research organisations such as UNIDIR.
In 2009, the General Assembly decided to convene a United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012 “to elaborate a legally-binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms”. The General Assembly decided that the remaining four sessions of what had been the Open-ended Working Group should be considered as sessions of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for this Conference. The first ATT PrepCom took place in July 2010.