There is now an opportunity to further reduce illicit arms flows in this region, to monitor and prevent diversion of legal firearms and to help prevent future outbreaks of armed violence.
A national control systems refers to a set of procedures, laws and common definitions, along with specifically identified organisations or individuals to serve as national points of contact.
The main elements of the national control systems therefore require governments to:
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the Pacific
Five Pacific countries have become full States Parties to the Treaty: Samoa, Tuvalu, Palau, Australia and New Zealand. Three others are signatories with the intention to ratify: Kiribati, Nauru and Vanuatu.
The ATT presents a unique opportunity for Pacific Island countries to share their experience with meaningful disarmament and effective arms control regimes. Given the relatively low level of arms transfers in the region, meeting the requirements of the Treaty does not pose a significant institutional, financial or legal barrier. In fact, ratification and accession can be achieved relatively quickly and easily.
Setting up an interagency coordination team
The ATT works best with a national coordinating mechanism, a key part of which is an interagency group to coordinate progress in meeting Treaty standards for each stakeholder. This platform enables relevant ministries, departments and agencies (for example defence, police, foreign affairs, customs, immigration, justice, corrections, attorney general’s office, civil society), to meet to discuss and implement arms control issues. Some States already have interagency security or International Humanitarian Law committees which are well suited to ATT coordination.