The U.S. Must Uphold the Arms Trade Treaty’s Limits at the First Conference of States Parties

The first Conference of States Parties (CSP) to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will be held in Cancun, Mexico, on August 24–27, 2015. This CSP will establish the rules of procedure for this and all future CSPs, decide how to organize and fund the treaty secretariat, adopt procedures for the reporting mandated by the treaty, and perhaps begin the campaign to amend the treaty. At the CSP, the U.S. needs to resist efforts to set precedents and create institutions that could be used to expand or reinterpret the treaty. The U.S. delegation should respect Congress’s opposition to funding the secretariat and, above all, emphasize that the treaty is the creation of U.N. member states and is to be implemented by only those states, not by the treaty secretariat or by a coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

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