The following statement was issued, on the occasion of the 100-State-party milestone of the Arms Trade Treaty, in New York today:
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) welcomed its 100th State party, following Mozambique’s ratification of the Treaty today.
United Nations Messenger for Peace Michael Douglas said: “I welcome the 100 Governments that have joined the Arms Trade Treaty in an effort to reduce the suffering caused by the poorly regulated arms trade. This is an important achievement considering the current global security context, and I encourage the remaining UN Member States to join the Treaty.”
The Arms Trade Treaty was negotiated in the framework of the United Nations and adopted by the General Assembly in April 2013. Following a noteworthy initial wave of ratifications, the ATT entered into force in December 2014. The Treaty’s main stated goal is to establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating international trade in conventional arms.
Specifically, the ATT prohibits its State parties from exporting weapons in certain cases, including when exports would constitute a violation of United Nations arms embargoes or if there is risk that the weapons would be used in the commission of genocide. The Treaty also requires Governments not to authorize transfers of arms when there is a risk that they could be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law or to conduct acts of terrorism.
United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu noted: “At a time when we are witnessing growing signs of tension in the international security environment and the global arms trade is flourishing – with States showing a renewed interest in expanding and modernizing their arsenals – the ATT’s relevance becomes even more critical, as it is the world’s only treaty aimed at ensuring transparency, responsibility and accountability in international transfers of conventional arms.”
Ms. Nakamitsu added: “As we celebrate today the fact that more than half of the Member States of the United Nations are now States parties to the ATT, we are reminded of the work ahead to promote the universalization of that Treaty. I trust that all States parties will remain committed to complying fully with the provisions of the ATT. This is the only way for the ATT to deliver on its promise and fulfil the hopes of millions of people around the world.”