This year, the Fourth Conference of States Parties (CSP4) of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will be held in Tokyo from 20 to 24 August. About 500 delegates are expected to attend, including those from nine Pacific governments: Kiribati, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Fiji, Cook Islands, Australia and New Zealand.
The Pacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG) and its Secretariat, the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction (CAVR), will attend CSP4 as part of the civil society delegation. PSAAG will be represented by Erly Muñoz, who will act as the regional advocacy coordinator for the Pacific within the Control Arms Coalition. CAVR’s board of directors will be represented by Philip Alpers, Alistair Gee and Deepayan Basu Ray, who will be in Tokyo from 20 August to carried out a Welcome Breakfast Meeting with Pacific Island delegates, in partnership with the Missions of Australia and New Zealand. The President of CSP4, Ambassador Nobushige Takamizawa, will join the Pacific delegates at the beginning of the meeting to welcome their participation.
Currently, the Treaty has a total of 97 States Parties and 130 Signatory States. In the Pacific, four countries have ratified the ATT: Australia, New Zealand, Tuvalu and Samoa; while four have signed but not ratified it: Vanuatu, Nauru, Palau and Kiribati. Compared to previous Conferences of States Parties, this year, CSP4 is expected to attract the highest number of delegates from the Pacific Islands. PSAAG and CAVR, in order to provide delegates with a background to CSP4 and the different thematic issues up for debate, have prepared a document called CSP4 Briefing for Pacific Delegates. This provides a quick reference guide to the various bodies and working groups of the Conference, details about the leadership of the CSP4 and information on the types of support Pacific delegates can access while at the Conference (and beyond).
On 21 August, in partnership with the Stimson Center, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Government of Switzerland, CAVR will host a Side Event in CSP4 Tokyo called ‘Enabling the Adoption and Practical Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty’. During this Side Event CAVR will launch its National Arms Transfer Database (NATD) — a practical implementation tool for governments in low-capacity states. We will suggest ways to leverage assistance mechanisms such as the ATT Voluntary Trust Fund to build the capacity of governments, and describe technical assistance programmes which have already enabled states parties to meet treaty obligations such as reporting, record-keeping and information sharing. Speakers will represent the Governments of Australia, Switzerland and Samoa, plus the Stimson Center and the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction.
We will keep you updated throughout the next two weeks as we have more information of high-level government participation and the programme of the agenda for the Conference. Follow us on Twitter here to receive the latest news of each country delegation at CSP4.
A full copy of the CSP4 Briefing for Pacific Delegates is available to download here. Details of the date and place of CAVR’s side event ‘Enabling the Adoption and Practical Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty’ can be found here.