New York, by | Nov 12, 2018- The 73rd United Nations General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security (UNGA First Committee) concluded last week, ending a month-long negotiation on all things disarmament, including autonomous drones, anti-personnel landmines, cyber warfare and the international arms trade. The Control Arms Coalition has been in full force throughout this period, organizing a total of 11 side events and roundtables related to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as well as over 170 bilateral meetings with delegates in an effort to build momentum around the ATT.
Similar to last year, this year’s First Committee was largely consumed by issues surrounding nuclear weapons, particularly the Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons, as well as geopolitical tensions over a pending withdrawal by the United States from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and over claims of the use of chemical weapons by Syria.
Nevertheless, two new accessions to the ATT brought the number of States Parties to 99, a record 100 co-sponsors and 151 votes in favor of this year’s ATT resolution, along with 160 references to the ATT throughout the meeting, represent a positive boost in momentum for the Treaty. The ATT Resolution, introduced by Latvia as the president of the fifth Conference of States Parties to the ATT (CSP 2019), was adopted with a record 100 co-sponsors, 151 votes for, none against and 30 abstentions. Furthermore, the “Women, Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation”, tabled biennially by Trinidad and Tobago, was adopted without a vote and with 95 co-sponsors after a vote on a paragraph which included a reference to the ATT.
Aaron Lainé, Control Arms