3rd Preparatory Committee on the Arms Trade Treaty

Posted on July 16, 2011

The third session of the preparatory committee for the UN Conference on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City from 11–15 July 2011.  For more information about advocacy to have strong victim assistance provisions in the ATT, click here.

Suela Lala, a lawyer and gun violence survivor working on disability rights in Albania made a presentation on behalf of the Control Arms coalition which said that a strong ATT must include a comprehensive framework for international co-operation and assistance and acknowledge the rights and needs of victims. To read the presentation in full, click here.

Statements concerning victim assistance in the ATT made by states during the week were reported by the Arms Trade Treaty Legal Blog:

  • Uruguay called for a stronger provision on victim assistance to be included.
  • Tanzania supported the provisions on international cooperation and assistance and on victim assistance in the implementation section.
  • Norway still believes that victim assistance should be included in the treaty. There is no need for a link between the arms export and the victim; it is to reiterate the rights of victims to assistance, in accordance with applicable human rights law.
  • The EU believes that the clause on victim assistance should not go further than what is stated in the paper.
  • Chile said victim assistance should be only in the preamble.
  • Republic of Korea did not think that victim assistance was relevant to the treaty, but the wording “may” left sufficient flexibility in this issue.
  • Colombia stated that victim assistance should only be in the preamble.
  • France suggested taking off all the elements ‘unnecessary’ in the treaty (e.g. victim assistance, even if it should stay in the preamble).
  • Italy did not see it appropriate to include victim assistance in the core of the text but only in the preamble.
  • The US stated that there should not be a provision of compensation for victims.

To read the Chairman’s Draft Paper including the section on International Cooperation and Assistance which refers to victim assistance, click here. The document is made available by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.