Top 10 Areas for Congressional Action on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2016

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which Congress has rightly opposed, entered into force on December 24, 2014. The U.S. signed the ATT on September 25, 2013, but the Administration has yet to transmit the treaty to the Senate. The first Conference of States Parties (CSP) to the ATT was held in Cancun, Mexico, on August 24–27, 2015. The CSP set out the rules of procedure for future CSPs, created a treaty Secretariat, and established a funding mechanism for both the Secretariat and future CSPs.

Congress has repeatedly placed the Administration on notice that it regards the ATT as fundamentally flawed, and regularly banned the appropriation of funds to implement the ATT prior to its ratification. Congress should resolutely continue to oppose ratification of the ATT and should act to ensure that any decisions taken in Cancun do not result in the U.S. financing treaty activities.

Congress can take action by: conditioning and limiting ATT funding, banning voluntary contributions, supporting open treaty meetings in 2016, demanding opportunity to scrutinize and reject the ATT, rejecting connections between the ATT and other U.N. programs, rejecting the object and purpose requirement, resisting public diplomacy pressure, taking note of failed reporting under the ATT, and improving appropriation bans.

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