16:30 - 18:00 (CEST)
The Inter-Parliamentary Union, with the support and participation of the permanent mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nation in Geneva, is organizing an interactive panel of experts on the potential of parliamentary engagement to advance the universalization of the ATT as a side event to the 7th Conference of State Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty.
In May 2006, the 114th IPU Assembly adopted a resolution on Strengthening Control of Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons and their Ammunition that called on parliaments to engage actively in efforts to combat SALW proliferation and encouraged them to agree to a set of global principles for international arms transfers. In 2014, the Arms Trade Treaty entered into force, with a current 110 members. The treaty regulates the international trade in conventional arms and seeks to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and their diversion.
Armed violence continues to cause more than half a million casualties every year, and over 80 countries are yet to take meaningful and effective steps towards stopping it from impairing political stability, public safety and development. However, even though high fatality rates from illicit gun violence seriously jeopardize public safety in these countries, public debate on joining the ATT remains limited and undeveloped.
In this context, parliaments and parliamentarians, as people’s representatives, can provide alternative channels to guide safety structures and economic development in their countries. They can advocate and legislate for societies free of armed violence in which their constituents can prosper and, in so doing, promote the Arms Trade Treaty as a tool to eradicate the root of illicit weapons proliferation. To increase parliamentary engagement with the issue of illicit arm flows the IPU has established a project that gathers parliamentarians of States that are not yet a party to the ATT to discuss and address the specific roadblocks that are holding them back from joining.
The side-event to the CSP7 will introduce this parliamentary project, raise awareness about the potential of parliamentary engagement in eradicating illicit arms flows, and incite early support amongst the permanent missions and in parliamentary circles.