by Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will of WILPF
On Friday afternoon, the arms trade treaty (ATT) negotiation conference closed without adopting a treaty. During the morning plenary, the United States, followed by Cuba, DPRK, Russia, and Venezuela, declared that negotiations needed to be extended. Thus the six year process to develop an ATT failed to achieve its goal. Furthermore, the draft treaty that would have been adopted was much weaker than the one envisaged by those who initiated the process in the first place. And so while this particular course has ended without a treaty, it is by no means the end of the road for an ATT altogether. The discussions over the past month have further demonstrated the need to develop such a treaty, and the need to do though a non-consensus based process.