United States signs the UN Arms Trade Treaty
On September 25, the United States joined over 100 other countries by signing the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). This marks a crucial step in a process where the United States has been and continues to be a leader. The ATT aims to establish standards for the international trade in conventional arms — providing rules for legitimate traders and closing loopholes that fuel the illicit trade.
Anne-Charlotte Merrell Wetterwik, a CITS Senior Research Associate who has followed the treaty negotiations as a technical advisor since 2009, describes the ATT as “the first global tool that strives to establish a universal network of rules that will amplify national, regional and multilateral control efforts. Not only will the ATT save lives and have a direct impact on human suffering by stemming the leakage of conventional arms to the illicit market, it will also provide a safer and more secure trade in defense materials worldwide and a level playing field for legitimate traders.”
The U.S. already has one of the world’s most comprehensive trade control systems and has been a strong advocate for similar standards being established worldwide. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at the signature ceremony in New York, “This treaty…builds global security without undermining the legitimate international trade in conventional arms which allows each country to provide for its own defense.”
Malaysian Secretary-General visits CITS and SPIA
Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria, Secretary-General of the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) visited the Center on Friday, September 20th. Dr. Rebecca, who completed a PhD in Human Resource Development at the University of Georgia, stopped by the Center to meet with the new SPIA Dean, Stefanie Lindquist, as well as to have detailed discussions with CITS staff on our work in Southeast Asia and amongst ASEAN states. She also met with a group of CITS undergraduate students, our Security Leadership Scholars, and SPIA students to discuss the progress of strategic trade facilitation in Malaysia. Dr. Rebecca shared her experiences in implementing strategic trade legislation in Malaysia and answered questions from the students on a wide range of trade and economic challenges faced in the region.
Security culture self-assessments for IAEA piloted in Indonesia
Beginning in April 2012, CITS staff assisted in IAEA efforts to promote nuclear security culture and participated in the development of new IAEA guidance documents. CITS drafted, jointly with other experts, a “Technical Guidance for Self-Assessment of Nuclear Security Culture in Facilities and Activities that Use Nuclear and/or Radioactive Material.” As the drafting progressed, CITS approached Indonesia’s National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) to propose a trial evaluation at its three research reactors. The leadership of BATAN agreed and in the fall of 2012, in cooperation with the IAEA, CITS briefed the management of the three sites and provided support for their pioneering effort to become a test bed for new IAEA documents. This effort was made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY). The highlight of the Technical Meeting referred to in the IAEA Director General’s report was a paper on the preliminary results of the self-assessment presented by the Indonesian delegation.