Virtual Launch of ATT Monitor 2020 Report
SIDE EVENT SUMMARY
sWith support of the governments of Australia and the Netherlands, the ATT Monitor, an independent project of Control Arms, launched its most recent edition of its flagship publication, the ATT Monitor 2020 Annual Report during a virtual side event. Katherine Young, ATT Monitor Senior Researcher, and Rachel Stohl, Vice President at the Stimson Center, presented key findings of the report. Ambassador Federico Villegas, CSP6 President; Ambassador Sally Mansfield of Australia; and Ambassador Robbert Gabriëlse of the Netherlands, also provided remarks. The event was moderated by Carina Solmirano, the ATT Monitor Coordinator.
The report shows a concerning trend towards private reporting, which serves as a significant hindrance to transparency in the international arms trade. This trend was identified in analysis of both 2018 and 2019 ATT annual reports, as well as initial reports submitted up to June 2020. Rachel Stohl noted that submitting private reports also presents an obstacle to analyzing global arms trends, prevents accountability in arms sales, and impedes the identification of particularly troubling transfers.
While the COVID-19 pandemic likely had an impact on the number of 2019 annual reports submitted this year, the geographic diversity and varying levels of capacity for managing national transfer control systems of those that were able to report by the deadline demonstrate that political will likely remains the largest impediment to ATT reporting. Ambassador Mansfield commented on this “question mark” over political will, and the importance of identifying what prevents states from joining the Treaty and states parties from submitting annual and initial reports.
“The ATT Monitor tells a good story in showcasing the actual operation of the ATT,”
said Ambassador Mansfield, which seeks to establish the highest possible international standards to improve the regulation of the international arms trade. Ambassador Gabriëlse spoke to the invaluable role of the ATT Monitor in tracking the progress of ATT implementation, as it facilitates transparent and fact-based discussion.
Ambassador Gabriëlse also noted that transparency and information exchange are fundamental tools in the implementation of the ATT. Similarly, Ambassador Villegas highlighted the importance of cooperation between civil society organisations and other ATT stakeholders to support the implementation of the ATT to fulfill its purpose of reducing human suffering.
The ATT Monitor 2020 Annual Report takes an in-depth look at the role of transparency and information sharing in tackling diversion. Katherine Young made clear that in addition to specific ATT provisions, the Treaty as a whole provides a broad framework for promoting cooperation between states parties, as well as information sharing, transparency and responsible action by states in the global arms trade.
To make ATT Monitor analysis more accessible to all stakeholders, its coordinator Carina Solmirano, introduced new resources available on the ATT Monitor website. An interactive map displays dates and milestones relevant to ATT reporting obligations, and ATT Monitor Country Profiles are available for download.
As published in the Reaching Critical Will ATT Monitor Vol. 13 No.4 of 27 August 2020.