The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns advocates and builds public support for effective policies on arms control and nonproliferation through partners such as the Arms Transfer Working Group (ATWG) and the Arms Control Association (ACA). ATWG is an alliance of primarily Washington, D.C.-based arms control, development, economic conversion, human rights and religious organizations concerned about the spread of conventional weapons around the world. ATWG serves as a clearinghouse of information and a point of contact for strategizing and coordinating activities among diverse groups that are motivated by the same moral concerns, including the economic, humanitarian and security implications of arms trafficking.
ATWG tries to influence U.S. arms export policy through its work with Congress and the executive branch. Its grassroots work focuses on outreach, education and activation. In particular, ATWG advocates for a U.S. Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers and a Framework Convention on International Arms Transfers. These initiatives would curtail U.S. arms exports and military assistance to dictators and human rights abusers. Other ATWG goals include eliminating the scourge of small arms and light weapons, and taking action on regional arms trade issues. The group also mobilizes in response to specific weapons sales or proposed changes in arms export policy.
The ACA provides policy-makers, the press and the public with analysis and commentary on arms control and related national security issues. Educational resources include its magazine, Arms Control Today, and press briefings. Recent events of the Washington, D.C.-based ACA included a debate over ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and a panel on a possible new treaty to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which was scheduled to expire Dec. 5, 2009.