ATT-Baseline Assessment Project

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Arms Trade Treaty-Baseline Assessment Project

The Arms Trade Treaty-Baseline Assessment Project (ATT-BAP) was developed by Rachel Stohl (Stimson Center) and Paul Holtom (Coventry University) following the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty. The project seeks to provide clear guidance on the obligations contained within the ATT and to establish a baseline assessment of States’ abilities to implement the Treaty.

States are focusing on the steps necessary to successfully implement the ATT, including building capacity, familiarizing themselves with best practices, and developing national legislation. Each has its own national approach to transfer control systems and resources. The ATT-BAP helps increase States’ understanding of ATT requirements, and provides insight on good practice measures that can be taken to ensure States are effectively implementing the Treaty. States, international, regional, and civil society organizations have already begun to plan and undertake projects to support ATT implementation. Key factors for supporting effective implementation include:

1. Ensuring States understand their ATT obligations;
2. Identifying existing capacities and areas to be strengthened; and
3. Matching assistance needs with resources, to avoid duplication and waste.

The ATT-BAP assists States in better understanding the requirements necessary for effective Treaty implementation. By helping States identify their specific needs, and providing a mechanism to match needs with available resources, the ATT-BAP will help Member States, international and regional organizations and civil society organizations work towards effective implementation and ensure the Treaty’s overall success in the long-term.

While the Treaty itself provides some guidance for reviewing national laws and regulations in order to meet Treaty obligations, it does not offer explicit details on how States Parties should fulfill these obligations. Recognizing the need for more information on Treaty requirements, the ATT-BAP assists States in identifying critical gaps and required resources needed for effective Treaty implementation. In addition, it enables States to share examples of different national understandings of key concepts in the Treaty and examples of ‘good practice’ measures for implementation. Further, it enables the development of projects that are targeted and relevant to the needs of individual States. The ATT-BAP will also provide a tool for charting the progress of ATT implementation and determining the efficacy of the Treaty over time.

The ATT-BAP delivers three key tools for guidance on ratification, implementation, assistance and future monitoring.

Ratification Checklist: the ratification checklist enables States to internally assess 12 areas relating to ATT implementation and facilitates domestic identification of areas that require further development.

Baseline Assessment Survey: completed surveys provide a baseline assessment of the 12 areas relating to ATT implementation identified in the ratification checklist, identify areas for international assistance and capacity-building, and provide information to States, international, regional, and civil society organizations to monitor ATT implementation.

Project Portal: the ATT-Baseline Assessment Project Portal (ATT-BAPP) presents information from completed surveys in a user-friendly format for analyzing current State practices and requisite needs for effective Treaty implementation. The ATT-BAPP is an online platform that can be used for: completing national surveys; reviewing good practices and measures utilized by States Parties to implement the ATT; identifying areas for international assistance and capacity-building; and drawing conclusions on general trends in Treaty implementation.

Rachel Stohl is a senior associate with Stimson’s Managing Across Boundaries (MAB) Initiative. Her areas of expertise focus on issues relating to the international arms trade, including small arms and light weapons, as well as children and armed conflict.

Prior to joining Stimson, Stohl was an Associate Fellow with Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, from 2009-2011. She was a senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information in Washington, DC from 1998-2009. Stohl also has been a consultant for many international organizations, including Oxfam, Project Ploughshares, SIPRI, the Small Arms Survey, and World Vision. She served as a Scoville Fellow at the British American Security Information Council in Washington, DC and worked at the United Nations Center for Disarmament Affairs in New York and at the Program for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Conversion in Monterey, CA.

Stohl was the consultant to the UN ATT process from 2010-2013 and was previously the consultant to the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2008 and the UN Register for Conventional Arms in 2009.

Stohl holds an MA in international policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and an honors BA in political science and German from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

Dr. Paul Holtom is deputy director of the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University (UK). His main areas of research relate to monitoring international arms transfers, promoting greater transparency of international arms transfers and strengthening arms transfer controls to prevent illicit trafficking.

Dr. Holtom was previously a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme and Director of the programme during 2009-2013. He has also been a consultant for several NGOs (Oxfam, Saferworld, and the Small Arms Survey) and regional and international organizations (the Council of Europe, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Dr. Holtom was also the consultant for the 2013 GGE on the UN Register of Conventional Arms.

Dr. Holtom holds a Ph.D and MA in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK. He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Birmingham and a member of the International Programme Council of the Small Arms Survey.