UN officials hail entry into force of landmark global arms trade treaty

23rd December 2014

United Nations officials are welcoming the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), hailing it as a new chapter in collective efforts to bring responsibility, accountability and transparency to the global arms trade. “From now on, the States Parties to this important treaty will have a legal obligation to apply the highest common standards to their international transfers of weapons and ammunition,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement issued today ahead of the instrument’s entry into force on 24 December. The ATT, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 2 April 2013, is the first legally-binding multilateral agreement that prohibits States from exporting conventional weapons to countries when they know those weapons will be used for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. As of 23 December, 60 States had ratified the treaty, and 130 had signed it, indicating that they intended to ratify. Ultimately, the ATT, the UN Chief said, attests to “our collective determination to reduce human suffering by preventing the transfer or diversion of weapons to areas afflicted by armed conflict and violence and to warlords, human rights abusers, terrorists and criminal organizations.” Calling it a breakthrough in curbing human rights violations and reducing human suffering, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, hailed the treaty for establishing the highest possible common international standards for regulating the international trade in conventional arms. (UN News)

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[source: UN News]