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  • April 18th, 2017

Canada Prepares to Join the Arms Trade Treaty: Part One

LAV IIIApril 13th the Government of Canada tabled Bill C-47 (ATT) in the House of Commons to enable Canada to accede to the landmark Arms Trade Treaty. Below is the associated press release from the Media Relations office of Global Affairs Canada.

This is the first in a series of blog posts discussing and analyzing this historic legislation to ensure that it fully complies with Canada’s international obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty.

The Arms Trade Treaty can set a real global standard, and thereby help prevent human rights abuses and protect lives. Canada’s existing system of export controls meets most of the treaty’s thresholds, and this legislation will set our standards in law. We must continue to encourage other countries to join this treaty, and we must ensure it is properly implemented globally. We committed to introduce this legislation, and I am very pleased that we will in turn raise the bar with a stronger and more rigorous system for our country.
– Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

The press release continues:

Canada believes that regulating the international arms trade is essential for the protection of people and human rights, and is strengthening its existing practices. As part of Canada’s support for a stronger and more rigorous export control system, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today delivered on the government’s commitment to introduce legislation so Canada can accede to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The ATT is about protecting people from arms. It ensures countries effectively regulate the international trade of arms, so they are not used to support terrorism, international organized crime, gender-based violence, human rights abuses, or violations of international humanitarian law.

To implement necessary changes, in March 2017 Canada announced an investment of $13 million to further strengthen the country’s export control regime. These resources will be used to implement new brokering controls, improve transparency, and support enhancements to Canada’s export controls.

Canada also recognizes the importance of promoting the ATT and is contributing $1 million to the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation, in order to help other countries accede to the ATT.

For more information see the following:
Backgrounder – A bill to enhance transparency and accountability in Canada’s export controls and allow accession to the Arms Trade Treaty
Minister Dion statement on Canada’s accession to Arms Trade Treaty and reform of export permit controls and reporting system
Export and Import Permits Act

End of the Press Release where the Government of Canada outlines its intentions.

Watch for Part Two where we will analyze this historic legislation to ensure that it fully complies with Canada’s international obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

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