Update: July 20, 2013
Jeff Moran’s timely and predictive executive negotiator’s brief Unlikely Consensus was published by TSM Worldwide LLC and distributed to state and non-state delegations in advance of the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2013. It was based on years of investigation and consultation with treaty process insiders. It was a first-of-its-kind publication outlining various treaty factions and their interests, and utilizing a probabilistic graphical modeling tool to accurately estimate the resulting conference outcome and the consensus-spoilers.
The brief endeavors to:
1. Explain how a faction of approximately 30 countries presents a major wildcard for the Conference and what their vision for a future treaty might entail if they decide to break consensus to realize it.
2. Explore the multi-dimensional quantitative challenge of commanding consensus by examining estimated opposition and support for the ATT, and to suggest where and how prospects for consensus could be improved the most.
3. Describe three assumptions widely held by some States and their humanitarian partners, and explain why these assumptions are perceived as a form of misguided or dishonest humanitarianism which drives against consensus.
4. Survey several complexities with respect to the United States, and highlight three conditions the ATT must meet if it is ever to be ratified there.
5. Present a probability framework for five potential scenarios with respect to reaching consensus at the Conference.
6. Explains why the most likely outcome scenarios for the Conference involved a failure to reach consensus and accurately estimated the actual scenario that played out accurately naming the spoilers in advance.
After reading a preliminary draft, one diplomat assigned to the UN based in Geneva said: “This is extremely interesting and I will send it to my colleagues who will represent us at the Conference later this month.”