Arms Trade Treaty .


The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is an international treaty that aims to regulate the international trade in conventional weapons. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on April 2, 2013, and entered into force on December 24, 2014.

The goal of the Arms Trade Treaty is to establish common standards for the international trade in conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons, battle tanks, combat aircraft, warships, and missiles. The treaty aims to prevent the illicit trade in arms, which can contribute to human suffering, conflict, and violations of international humanitarian law and human rights.

Key provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty include:

  1. Establishing criteria for assessing arms exports: The treaty requires states to assess the potential risks associated with arms transfers, including the risk of the weapons being used to commit human rights abuses, terrorism, or other violations of international law.
  2. Prohibiting arms transfers in certain circumstances: The treaty prohibits arms transfers if the exporting state has knowledge that the weapons would be used to commit genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, or other serious violations of international humanitarian law.
  3. Regulating arms brokering: The treaty calls for states to establish regulations and licensing requirements for arms brokers and to take measures to prevent illicit arms brokering activities.
  4. Promoting transparency and reporting: States that are party to the treaty are required to report on their arms transfers and to share information on measures taken to implement the treaty’s provisions. This promotes greater transparency and accountability in the global arms trade.

It’s important to note that not all countries have ratified or acceded to the Arms Trade Treaty. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, 110 countries had ratified or acceded to the treaty, while some notable countries, including the United States, Russia, and China, had signed but not ratified it. The status of countries’ participation may have changed since then.

The Arms Trade Treaty represents a significant step towards regulating the global arms trade and preventing the flow of weapons to those who may use them to commit atrocities or fuel conflicts. However, its effectiveness depends on the commitment and cooperation of states in implementing its provisions.

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