UNODA assists African States in Preparation for Arms Trade Treaty Conference

att1On 21 and 22 May, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), organized the African Regional Consultation on the Arms Trade Treaty at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa.

The meeting was organized jointly with the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), in cooperation with the African Union Commission, and was made possible with the financial support of the Government of Australia.

The regional consultation was an opportunity for experts from Member States who are likely to represent their governments at the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in July to further discuss the various issues that will arise at the Conference including the treaty’s scope, criteria and implementation. Experts also discussed the possibility of an African common position on the Treaty and coordination among African States for the negotiations in July.

United Nations Member States have been discussing the adoption of a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty since 2006, a preparatory process that will culminate in a four-week United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, to be held in New York from 2 to 27 July. The African Regional Consultation on the ATT stems from UNODA’s mandate to provide all necessary assistance to the Conference on the ATT, and from the awareness of the appalling human costs from the unregulated arms trade.


Without robust common standards to guide national decisions on arms transfers, it is easier for arms to be used in violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law and to be diverted to illicit markets,” said the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Angela Kane, during her opening remarks. Ms. Kane also encouraged Member States to voice their support for a strong and effective ATT, and expressed the availability of the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa to provide support to African States

The consultations were attended by governmental experts from 49 African countries, officials from the United Nations, the African Union and African regional economic communities. Leading regional and international think-tanks and non-governmental organizations also took part in the meeting as observers.


Keynote Adresses


Panel Presentations

African Common Positions