International Disarmament Institute News

May 31, 2017
by mbolton
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The Role of Education in Advancing Arms Trade Treaty Universalization and Implementation: Lessons Learned from ATT Academy East Africa 2016-2017

Participants of the ATT Academy meet in Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya.

The 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), negotiated and adopted at the UN in New York, offers opportunities to limit the potential for conventional weapons to be used to commit crimes against humanity, terrorism, organized crime, violations of human rights and humanitarian law and acts of gender-based violence. It currently has 90 state parties, but some states that were strong champions of the Treaty have not yet acceded to it. Many states that have joined the
ATT nevertheless report they need technical assistance and training to implement the Treaty effectively.

Responding to these concerns, Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute in partnership with the Control Arms Secretariat organized the ATT Academy 2016-2017, a year-long program of education, research and training on the Treaty for carefully selected East and Horn of Africa officials and key civil society activists. This project was supported by the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR).

In this report on lessons learned in the project, participants report that the ATT Academy provided them with in-depth knowledge of the ATT, enabling them address accession and implementation challenges in the region. Organizers learned that the ATT universalization and implementation effort will require an educational component, to share information, technical expertise and lessons learned. A targeted, intensive, longterm, in-person and contextualized program of training is better than one-off seminars. High-impact pedagogies like simulations and group discussions are often more effective than a lecture format alone.

To read the full report, click here.

March 15, 2017
by mbolton
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How to Use the Arms Trade Treaty to Address Armed Violence in Pastoralist Communities

A new report published by Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute and Control Arms Secretariat examines the potential role of the Arms Trade Treaty in addressing violence in pastoralist communities in East Africa. The report is one of several that published by the ATT Academy project:

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) creates opportunities to address the effect of small arms and light weapons (SALW) proliferation on pastoralist communities in The East and Horn of Africa region and elsewhere. Policymakers and advocates can use the ATT to limit the risks of diversion of guns and ammunition to militias, gangs and cattle raiders. The ATT also offers a framework to encourage security forces to follow international human rights and humanitarian law in pastoralist communities.

To read the report, click here.

The report is also available in French.

December 28, 2016
by mbolton
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Second ATT Academy East Africa Workshop

Participants in the ATT Academy, Lake Nakuru National Park. Photo: Control Arms.

The second ATT Academy training took place from 05-08 December 2016 at Lake Nakuru Lodge, Kenya and focused on ensuring deeper understanding of the Treaty’s provisions and their practical application. Over four days, participants explored themes relevant to the sub-region including Wildlife Crime, Pastoralist Conflict, Tackling Gender Based Violence and Importer Obligations. Excellent expert speakers, group discussions, homework assignments and hypothetical exercises ensured positive engagement among participants. Field visits with the Kenyan Wildlife Services (KWS) rangers provided participants with deeper understanding of the challenges they face in preventing poaching and preserving wildlife due to the proliferation of illicit weapons in the region.

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Academy brings a new approach to learning about the ATT and its implementation. It provides an in-depth and tailored learning opportunity to carefully selected participants, all of whom engage directly with the ATT in their work as government, or as part of civil society. It also provides an opportunity to explore linkages to other relevant arms, security development instruments, and enables discussion and analysis of regionally-specific issues, such as the link between wildlife crime and small arms proliferation.

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December 15, 2016
by mbolton
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Op-Ed: Saving Rhinos while Protecting Human Rights: The Value of the Arms Trade Treaty for Global Anti-Poaching Efforts

Republished from the Forum on the Arms Trade’s “Looking Ahead 2017” blog series.

The world is facing what the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has described as an “Environmental Crime Crisis,” with an unprecedented slaughter of large mammals, particularly in the African continent. More than 100,000 elephants have been killed by poachers in the last five years and, over the same period, the number of rhinoceroses poached has increased every year.

The illicit wildlife trade is now increasingly sophisticated, dangerous and globalized, integrated with armed groups and organized crime. It has been fueled by a proliferation of military-grade guns in unstable regions with high concentrations of rhinos and elephants. Since 2014, the UN Security Council has identified poaching as a regional security threat in Africa (S/RES/2134 and S/RES/2136). This month UNEP released a new report showing how environmental crime “threatens peace and security.” In 2017, the Arms Trade Treaty and other international measures could offer tools to address these problems in an integrated way.

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November 15, 2016
by mbolton
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Online Training on Gender and the Arms Trade Treaty

The ATT Academy project has developed an online training providing an in-depth look at the gender-based violence provision (Article 7.4) of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and its role in addressing cross-cutting international and regional challenges, such as arms trafficking and the drug trade. The required reading list and homework exercise aim to illustrate some of the research the participants will need to do in order help their respective governments prepare for the implementation of Article 7(4) – the gender-based violence provision – of the ATT.

To access the online training, click here.

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October 25, 2016
by mbolton
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Intersections between Wildlife Crime and the Arms Trade

Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute presented research on how the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) offers opportunities to the address the violent nexus between wildlife crime and illicit arms trafficking during an informal lunch at the UN hosted by Control Arms and Zambia.

The report was well received by representatives of African states that have been affected by wildlife crime, highlighting the importance of the issue and the willingness to cooperate and use existing provisions to address it in a creative way.

For further details on this event, read the write-up from Control Arms.

September 29, 2016
by mbolton
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Online Training on the Arms Trade Treaty and Sustainable Development

The ATT Academy project has developed an online training on the relevance of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to development, including the linkages to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Target 16.4. It outlines how governments can integrate ATT accession and implementation activities into resources received as part of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

To access the online training, click here.

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Academy brings a new approach to learning about the ATT and its implementation. It provides an in-depth and tailored learning opportunity to carefully selected participants, all of whom engage directly with the ATT in their work as government, or as part of civil society. It also provides an opportunity to explore linkages to other relevant arms, security development instruments, and enables discussion and analysis of regionally-specific issues, such as the link between wildlife crime and small arms proliferation.

The ATT Academy is organized by the Control Arms Secretariat and Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute. For over a decade, Control Arms and its members have been providing support and information to States of all regions in the development and eventual adoption of the ATT, and now in its universalization and implementation. As a university, Pace offers its experience with curriculum and course design as well as a track record of published research and learning on the ATT and other arms issues. The 2016 session of the ATT Academy is supported by the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR).

September 27, 2016
by mbolton
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How to Use the Arms Trade Treaty to Address Wildlife Crime

A family of white rhinos at Lake Nakuru, Kenya, June 2016.

A new report published by Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute and Control Arms Secretariat examines the potential role of the Arms Trade Treaty in addressing wildlife crime in East Africa. The report is one of several that will be published by the ATT Academy project:

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) offers opportunities to address the violent nexus of wildlife poaching and illicit arms trafficking. This report offers specific advice to policymakers and advocates seeking to use the framework of the ATT to assess and mitigate the risk that arms transfers will be diverted to poaching networks or exacerbate the negative impacts of militarizing wildlife protection. Advocating international and regional cooperation, the report also encourages the universalization and rigorous implementation of the ATT, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and other relevant instruments, particularly in States at risk of poaching and other wildlife crime.

To read the report, click here.

The report is also available in French.

June 27, 2016
by mbolton
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ATT Academy Trains East African Officials on the Arms Trade Treaty

East African officials and advocates attend a 2016 workshop of the Arms Trade Treaty Academy in Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya, a project of Pace University and Control Arms Secretariat, funded by the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR).

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Academy brings a new approach to learning about the ATT and its implementation. It provides an in-depth and tailored learning opportunity to carefully selected participants, all of whom engage directly with the ATT in their work as government, or as part of civil society. It also provides an opportunity to explore linkages to other relevant arms, security development instruments, and enables discussion and analysis of regionally-specific issues, such as the link between wildlife crime and small arms proliferation.

The first training session of the ATT Academy took place from 20-23 June, following four days of in-depth learning about the Arms Trade Treaty. This first session focused on the first several articles of the ATT, emphasizing the Treaty’s Scope as well as Articles 6 and 7. Discussion groups, homework assignments and participatory exercises enabled participants to ask questions and relate ATT obligations to their national context. The workshop also identified links between small arms proliferation, the ATT and wildlife poaching, a serious problem in many East African nations, including Kenya. The training took place at Lake Nakuru Lodge, situated in Nakuru National Park, and participants were briefed by park rangers involved in anti-poaching activities and local peace-building projects.

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