The Arms Trade Treaty is an invaluable tool to promote cooperation, transparency and responsible action by States Parties in the arms trade. It also aims to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion to unauthorized users. It is noted that the arms trade often goes hand in hand with their diversion, their widespread and uncontrolled availability, and their illicit traffic.
In light of this, the Republic of Madagascar sought the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) technical assistance to support the Malagasy authorities in the implementation of the ATT, despite the fact that the political arena where factors such as general elections and other strategic considerations tend to generate conflicting priorities among political leaders, the authorities agreed that UNREC can conduct missions to help the country fulfill its commitments towards the ATT Secretariat.
The project funded by the ATT voluntary trust fund started by an exploration mission in Antananarivo, Republic of Madagascar in September 2018 in the framework of the launching of project related to: Appropriation of the ATT Issues for the National Authorities, the Private Sector and Civil Society. Conducted by the Director of UNREC, the aim of this mission was to inform, sensitize and advocate on the appropriation of the ATT by the government of Madagascar.
As recommendation, UNREC was requested to help Madagascar set up a national commission on fires arms. In this regard, the government of Madagascar in collaboration with UNREC organized from 20 to 23 November 208 a workshop on the appropriation of the ATT issues for the National Authorities, the Private Sector and Civil Society.
About 70 participants representing the Public Sector as well as Civil Society actors took part in this workshop. These include representatives of Cabinet of the Presidency and the Prime Minister of the Republic; National Assembly; Ministries in charge of National Defense, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Public Security, Justice, Finance and Budget, Transport, Education; the Independent National Commission for Human Rights; and the Private Sector.
At the opening ceremony, the Minister of National Defense who was representing the Government of the Republic of Madagascar said that Madagascar will designate one or more national points of contact for the exchanging of information regarding treaty requirements and will draft a national legislation. He concluded by expressing its government gratitude to UNREC and the ATT Secretariat for their various support to help Madagascar fulfill its commitment as State Party to the treaty.
The closing ceremony was headed by the Secretary of State to the Minister of National Defense in charge of the Gendarmerie. He recognized that Madagascar is particularly conscious of the legally binding nature of the ATT and that its government is ready to draft a national law to update its fires arms law adopted since 1969 and establish a national committee named CONAMAD with the support of UNREC.
A chronogram of future activities was also adopted; that includes: development of survey instruments to carry out the evaluation phase and also formulation of Terms of References for the final Evaluation Validation Workshop, drafting of a factsheet named “Comprendre le TCA” to be distributed during the validation workshop.
On 2 April 2013, Member States of the United Nations adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which entered into force on 24 December 2014. The ATT constitutes the first global, legally binding instrument to provide international standards for the international trade in conventional arms.