Activity title

Regional and National Capacity-Building Workshops on the Implementation of the ATT and UNPOA

13/11/2017 - 16/11/2017

Background

Activity description
As part of the project ‘Building a comprehensive arms control system in the Pacific through strengthened implementation of international arms control standards’, the Pacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG) carried out on 13-16 November 2017, a regional and a national capacity-¬building workshop on the implementation of the ATT and UNPOA. The workshops were funded by the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR), and facilitated by the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction (CAVR). The regional workshop took place in Vanuatu from 13-14 November 2017. It was held at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat in collaboration with the Stimson Centre, USA. Participants explored in detail elements of the ATT and the PoA, with specific focus on key articles on scope, national implementation, record keeping and reporting, and cooperation and assistance. The participants also engaged in hands-on exercises to simulate identification of weapons systems and parts and components, and a mock transit-license application. Other modules included assessing needs, exploring specific technical issues such as brokering, discussing elements of an emerging national action plan and coordinating mechanisms. The workshop included representatives from the Fiji Ministry of Defence and National Security, the Papua New Guinea Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Solomon Islands Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services, the Vanuatu Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the MSG Secretariat, the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction/PSAAG, and the Stimson Centre. The two-day national workshop took place from 15-16 November 2017 and included representatives from the Vanuatu Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Police Force, State Law Office, Customs and Border Control, Red Cross Society, Nakororiki Youth Association, Youth Challenge Vanuatu, Vatumauri Consortium, Human Rights Coalition, Vanuatu Non-government Organisation (VANGO), and Port Vila Hardware. Participants explored in detail the elements of the ATT and the PoA, with specific focus on key articles of the ATT and elements of the PoA, including scope, national implementation, record keeping and reporting, and cooperation and assistance. The participants also engaged in hands-on exercises to simulate identification of weapons systems and parts and components, and a mock transit-license application. Other modules included assessing needs, exploring specific technical issues such as brokering, discussing elements of an emerging national action plan and coordinating mechanisms. Several recommendations were formulated for the Vanuatu Government and its partners in civil society and industry to ratify the ATT, and to implement both the ATT and the UNPoA.

Project description
The project ‘Building a comprehensive arms control system in the Pacific through strengthened implementation of international arms control standards’ aims to build, maintain and strengthen arms control systems in the Pacific by raising awareness on interagency coordination, developing strategies for implementing complementary arms-related procedures, providing technical expertise and guidance for harmonising legislation, and building technical capacity of government officials. This project builds on a previous PSAAG’s UNSCAR-funded project– focusing on identifying the operational challenges and building capacity to fill gaps in implementing the ATT and UNPoA. In 2015 – 2016, PSAAG worked across the Pacific and closely with four Pacific governments to raise awareness on the Arms Trade Treaty and the UNPoA. During a series of workshops hosted by PSAAG, it became evident that governments supported ratifying the Treaty and implementing the UNPoA provisions. However, lack of capacity remains a large obstacle to implementing international standards for arms control. Building upon PSAAG’s strong network, government contacts, and proven record of mobilising Pacific governments on small arms, this project has developed a number of tools to use across all Pacific states. It applies a regional approach to advance coordination and minimise capacity gaps as much as feasible. While the project and tools developed have had a regional Pacific focus, the project additionally works closely with Melanesian states – Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. These have experienced the highest levels of armed violence and have demonstrated a commitment to strengthening arms control mechanisms.

Focus of Activity

International instruments
National legislation
Regional cooperation
Reporting on arms transfers
Transit and transshipment controls
Brokering controls

Type of Activity

Institutional capacity-building
Legal or legislative assistance
Technical material or financial assistance
Sensitization and outreach

Partners

Fiji
Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands
Vanuatu

Implementers

Centre for Armed Violence Reduction (CAVR)
Pacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG)

Donors

UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR)

URLs

Contact Details

Pacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG)
PO Box 727 Surry Hills NSW 2010. Australia
E-mail: info@armedviolencereduction.org
Point of Contact: Deepayan Basu Ray, PSAAG Director of Arms Control
E-mail: info@armedviolencereduction.org