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OSETC hosts a four-day workshop on UN-PoA and ATT with the UNRCPD

Date: February 16, 2017

Posted by: rdArobinto

 

The Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime (OSETC) hosted, in cooperation with the United Nations Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) and the United Nations Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR), a TECHNICAL AND LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROJECT TO SUPPORT THE PHILIPPINES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS PROGRAM OF ACTION ON SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS (UN POA-SALW) AND THE ARMS TRADE TREATY (ATT), held at the UP Technohub Microtel, Commonwealth Avenue Diliman, Quezon City on 24-27 January 2017. The project aimed at providing the Philippine Government with technical and legal assistance for a more responsive and practical application of the UN-PoA and the ATT. It was participated in by at least 50 participants from relevant government agencies.

 

The project included on-site visit activities to primary government agencies involved on the matter  such as the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Senate of the Philippines( for legal aspect of these instruments) and the PNP-NHQ, and Bureau of Customs (for the technical aspect) on the second and third day (January 25 and January 26) of the event respectively.

 

On the legal aspect, the President through the Office of the Executive Secretary has already endorsed the instrument for ratification to the Senate for its concurrence. On part of the Senate, the Instrument of Ratification was initially deliberated on the first reading (title revision) and is scheduled for its second reading sometime in March subject on the availability of the senators. On the technical aspect of UN-PoA-SALW and the ATT, the on-site visits in the PNP and the BOC provided opportunities to raise some of the challenges that the two agencies are facing at the moment. Emerging issues were: about brokering, licensing, stockpile management, labeling of packaging, inadequacy of naval equipment, capacity building activities for x-ray technicians, among others.

 

The workshop was concluded by presenting initial assessment of the international experts as a result of the on-site visits and exchange of information from the participating government agencies. As announced, the final report of the project will be presented to the government officials by early March of this year that will mark the completion of the project.

 

One major challenge at the moment is the ratification of the treaty.  Mainly, it has to pass through the Senate. Aside from lead-time to consider, priority action of the Senate is vital. Apart from the support from various stakeholders, industry sectors and civil society groups who have some opposing perceptions on ATT that of interfering/ hindering their business interest.

 

Another is for the support of national legislation for ATT. At present, RA 10697 (Strategic Trade Management Act) is still in the process of finalizing the IRR. On point, is where legal and technical assistance are greatly needed for both the regulatory and law enforcement agencies, since they are the ones who are directly involved in the import and export of strategic goods including SALW.