THIRD CONFERENCE OF STATES PARTIES TO THE ARMS TRADE TREATY
Date: 20 September 2017
Posted by: asJaucian
The Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime represented by PSupt Elizabeth D Jasmin attended the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) 3rd Conference of States Parties The Philippine Delegation was headed by Ambassador Evan P. Garcia, Permanent Mission, Geneva, Switzerland together with the seven (7) other members, namely: Ambassador Maria Teresa T. Almojuela, Mr. Rafael Hermoso, Ms. Devine Trinidad Carolino, PCSupt Valeriano De Leon, PSSupt Filmore Escobal, and Ms. Lea De Guzman.
The said conference was held at the Centre de International de Conférences Genève (CICG) on 10 -15 September 2017 and it was participated in by seventy-nine (79) States Parties, twenty-three (23) Signatory States, four (4) States as observers, thirteen (13) Organizations and twenty-four (24) Civil Society Group including International NGO’s.
The five-day conference of states comprises of three parts, and these are as follows: Introduction and General Debate; Organization of the Conference; and Decisions and Recommendations. Likewise, side events in between the break periods were chatted and witnessed, corresponding to the launching of book entitled “Reinvigorating The Narrative” (The Broader Benefits of the Arms Trade Treaty). Also included in the side events were the Monitoring Global Diversion Trends; Diversion Data; and importance of information sharing with the use of I-Trace as significant tools in the implementation of ATT.
On the first and second day of the conference, members states, signatories, organizations and other International NGO’s representatives have delivered the country’s general statements, shared experiences and challenges on the implementation of the said Treaty. The main focus of the general debate was the continuous support and commitment of states parties in implementing the ATT. Further, there were exchanges of views on the 3 Working Groups on Treaty Implementation, Universalization, and Reporting and Transparency.
One of the general statements conveyed during the conference that caught the attention of the Philippine delegates is the statement delivered by Mr. James Lynch of Amnesty International (AI), a member of Control Arms Coalition. The Philippines’ was cited along with Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Egypt for “irresponsible arms transfer”. To quote Mr. Lynch, “To the Philippines, which has seen deliberate and widespread killings of alleged drug offenders that appear to be systematic, planned and organized by the authorities.”
Further, the Philippines’ was given a chance to deliver a reply statement to AI, to paraphrase the gist of the statement, “The Philippines is a democratic country that strongly adheres to the rule of law and there are no systematic, planned, and organized killings. In fact, the Philippine National Police (PNP) investigates all law enforcement operations that lead to deaths, and has filed criminal and administrative cases against abusive police officials.” To end, the Philippines’ assured the states parties that all cases of violations in the course of the anti-illegal drug campaign are all being look at, to ensure the protection of human rights while maintaining peace and order within the bounds of law.
The conference welcomed thematic discussion that explored and highlighted the links and synergies between the treaty and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in particular to goal no. 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies and one of its associated targets, 16.4 – a significant reduction in illicit arms flow by 2030.
On the second part, ensuing the Rules and Procedure Pursuant to Rule 9.1 of the ATT, the conference elected, by acclamation, Ambassador Nobushige Takamizawa of Japan as the President of the Fourth Conference of States Parties. In addition, following topics were also emphasized: Deep concern regarding the unpaid contributions of the States Parties; International Assistance granted by the ATT-VTF wherein the Philippines is one of the grantees out of 17 approved projects; and Japan contingent expressed the confirmation of their interest to hold the 4th Conference of States in Japan on August 2018, and their commitment to cover the difference between the approved budget for the Fourth Conference of States Parties and the actual conference costs.
On the last part, the body warmly thanked Ambassador Klaus Korhonen of Finland for his dedication and work done as the President to the ATT which resulted in a successful Third CSP. In addition, the Final Report was adopted and to be issued and published in the official website of the ATT Secretariat as an official document.