Control Arms: Join in the call for ratification of the UN Arms Trade Treaty

Bananas and MP3s are more tightly regulated by international laws than weapons.

On 2 April 2013, history was made as the Arms Trade Treaty - the first agreement to control global arms sales - received an overwhelming 'yes' vote at the United Nations in New York.

National arms controls are rife with gaps and loopholes, making it all too easy for weapons to end up in the hands of those who use them to fuel conflict, undermine development and abuse human rights and humanitarian law.  We now need to encourage everyone to sign up to the Arms Trade Treaty.

The unregulated arms trade has catastrophic results:

  • 2 bullets are made for every person on the planet every year 
  • 2,000 people die each day from armed violence, and hundreds of thousands more are displaced, maimed or lose their livelihood
  • Conflict costs African countries US $18 billion every year

This tragedy must, and can, be stopped.

What you can do

Join the Control arms movement and ask the member states of the United Nations to sign up to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to help save lives, prevent human rights abuses, and protect the livelihoods of people around the world:

  • Follow @Controlarms and @Oxfam on Twitter
  • Share the latest blogs on conflicts and disasters
  • Read the latest reports on the Arms Trade Treaty
  • Use the interactive map at to find out what your Government’s position is on key issues concerning the ATT
  • Look at the status of the treaty, country by country (UN) 
  • Track the universalization of the Arms Trade Treaty 
  • Watch and share the video “Bang For Your Buck” and see how the easy accessibility of weapons in Burundi is crippling its health services and making difficult for the country to develop and emerge from entrenched conflict.

Making history

When Oxfam and the Control Arms coalition launched this campaign for a global Arms Trade Treaty, a decade ago, the concept was dismissed by many governments as an idealistic fantasy. But after years of activism and campaigning, this ATT has become a reality. The Treaty opened for signature on 3 June 2013, and will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by the required 50 states.

Over one million people signed our Million Faces Petition, which was presented to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2006. At the UN General Assembly in December 2006, a huge majority of governments voted to start negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty and to conclude this process in July 2012. Unfortunately, the adoption of a draft treaty supported by a majority of countries failed when the United States, followed by Russia and few other states, demanded more time.

In April 2013 the United Nations General Assembly finally approved the Arms Trade Treaty. However we still have a long way to go and your support is just as crucial as ever to keep the momentum up and save lives.

We must keep the pressure up and persuade countries to sign up to and ratify the treaty. A total of 50 ratifications are needed for the treaty to enter into force.