Fully 71 countries have signed the Arms Trade Treaty since it was opened for signature last week at the United Nations in New York. The United States is not among them: via State Department press release, Secretary of State John Kerry said:
‘The United States welcomes the opening of the Arms Trade Treaty for signature, and we look forward to signing it as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily.’
Interpretation of that statement no doubt will be a part of an upcoming, topical forum.
The American Society of International Law will host a lunchtime talk entitled “Arms Trade Treaty: Domestic and International Implications” from 12 noon-2 p.m. Eastern time next Monday, June 17, at Tillar House, its headquarters at 2223 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. If you’re unable to be present in person, you can watch it via live webstream.
As I’ve posted, the treaty emerged out of a final round of negotiations in March. At that point the United States was on board, but other countries balked, and so it fell to the U.N. General Assembly to adopt the text, available here.
On Monday speakers will discuss, in ASIL’s words, “a plethora of issues surrounding the Arms Trade Treaty such as the objectives and scope of the treaty, the rationale behind U.S. support for it, challenges to the implementation of the treaty, implications on the national legal system, and the international humanitarian law aspects of the treaty.” Scheduled are Thomas M. Countryman, the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation, as well as representatives of 2 nongovernmental organizations that have worked for approval of the treaty: Andrea Harrison, Deputy Legal Advisor, Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada, International Committee of the Red Cross, and Scott Stedjan, Senior Policy Advisor for Humanitarian Response, Oxfam America. Moderating will be Professor David Koplow, Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies at Georgetown Law.
Registration and details here.