SIPRI is pleased to announce that it has expanded and improved its online database for Mapping Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)-relevant cooperation and assistance activities to include East Asia and South East Asia. The database now contains information on over 440 cooperation and assistance activities aimed at building capacity in areas relevant to ATT implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia, and South East Asia since 2012.
Since the entry into force of the ATT, the low level of participation among states in Asia has been a particular cause for concern. Proponents of the ATT argue that the promotion of the treaty in Asia would contribute to addressing significant security-related challenges in the region, such as the increasing level of arms imports and building-up of national defence capabilities amid continued and re-emerging tensions in the region.
A wide range of legal, technical and material assistance projects have been implemented in the region in recent years and more are planned in the near future. Japan has assumed the presidency of the next Conference of States Parties (CSP). As such, more attention will likely be paid to ATT universalization in Asia in the run-up to CSP4 in Tokyo in August 2018. Expanding the database to cover East Asia and South East Asia will improve the ability of stakeholders to better plan their activities and create synergies between them.
SIPRI will continue to update the database as new activities take place and plans to further expand its coverage in the future to cover other regions. To this end, SIPRI has recently received funding from the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR) to expand the database to include relevant activities in the Middle East and North Africa
About the Database
The website housing the database has two longer-term objectives. First, it will help key stakeholders to build upon past projects, plan joint activities and avoid duplication of efforts. Second, it will help the ATT Secretariat to perform ‘the matching of offers and requests for assistance for Treaty implementation’ called for under the ATT. SIPRI encourages and welcomes all input concerning corrections, improvements and additions. The website hosts a feedback tool and a submission tool, which allows users to give feedback about activities included in the database and to submit information about others that should be added.
The expansion of the database was funded by Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The website was initially developed in 2015 by SIPRI and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) using funds supplied by the UK Foreign Office. Further expansion was carried out in 2016-2017 to cover activities implemented in Latin America and the Caribbean, in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and with funding from UNSCAR.