Arms Trade Treaty

Committee will debate 2012 draft treaty on the arms trade

By Ilya Bañares, Senior Copy Editor

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In just a couple of weeks, the North American Model United Nations (NAMUN) conference will take place at the University of Toronto, and will gather hundreds of delegates from across the world in one place. One of the committees in particular, the Arms Trade Treaty, will take a different format: a historical committee, it will involve countries negotiating an agreement of utmost importance.

“Our committee is a re-enactment of the negotiations which took place at the United Nations during the summer of 2012 with regards to controls on the international arms trade,” Co-Chair Raluca Petrut told The Emissary. The treaty, back in 2012, was the first legally binding treaty negotiated by the UN regarding the regulation of the arms trade.

Petrut, however, also highlighted that to this day, the treaty was ultimately a failure, as many countries and member-states had not signed the document. “However, with this committee we are challenging delegates to go back in time and negotiate a stronger treaty,” Petrut said. “One that effectively integrates all of the complex and conflicting interests of various countries while also bringing to the table a new and powerful plan on restricting the illegal flow of weapons and any sales of arms to vulnerable areas.”

The committee mechanics are slightly different than that of a regular General Assembly; delegates will be debating on the actual treaty itself, and will be negotiating amendments that would make the document more amenable to countries.

With the unique format of the committee, the Co-Chairs are underlining the importance of coming to the conference prepared. In an email to The Emissary, Co-Chair Nicholas Klid said, “However, with this committee we are challenging delegates to go back in time and negotiate a stronger treaty–one that effectively integrates all of the complex and conflicting interests of various countries while also bringing to the table a new and powerful plan on restricting the illegal flow of weapons and any sales of arms to vulnerable areas.”

The Co-Chairs have been hard at work, writing the background guide during the summer and perfecting it during the academic year. “In sum, delegates must come to the conference prepared to debate and bring their enthusiasm with them to ensure success is achieved at NAMUN 2018,” Klid said.

NAMUN begins in less than a month at the University of Toronto. Follow the Emissary’s coverage on this year’s committees here.