On 21 May, Lord Hannay, Chair of the UN APPG, initiated a debate on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in the House of Lords.
Addressing the Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Baroness Warsi, Lord Hannay began by commending both the current government and its predecessors for their perseverance and commitment in pursuit of an ATT. He went on to ask what consideration would be given to importing countries’ support for the ATT when granting arms export licences, as this could provide a useful means of incentivising widespread implementation of the Treaty.
In response to Lord Hannay’s urging that the government champion the newly adopted ATT by sending a suitably high level representative to sign the Treaty, Baroness Warsi revealed that it is anticipated that Foreign Secretary William Hague will sign the Treaty as near as possible to 3 June, when the Treaty opens for signature.
Following Lord Hannay’s question there was an extended discussion in the House of the UK’s role in ensuring the effective implementation of the ATT.