The ABC of the Arms Trade Treaty: Why it’s important – How will it work?

Published: 17 March 2012

The Arms Trade Treaty is a potential ground-breaking humanitarian treaty that would regulate the international trade in conventional weapons. The Treaty will be negotiated at a United Nations conference in New York between July 2 - 27.

There is currently no effective international legislation on the global arms trade. While there are treaties on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons there is nothing on the weapons that kill people every day. Patchy, diverse and often completely absent, national regulations are inadequate with the increasingly globalized nature of the arms trade. Arms companies, operating from an increasing number of locations, now source components from across the world. Their products are often assembled in countries with lax controls on where they end up, hence the need for truly global rules which reflect the nature of the trade.

Related links

Take action: Support a bullet-proof Arms Trade Treaty

Follow the negotiations: Arms Trade Treaty monitor

Tracking States' positions on key issues concerning the Arms Trade Treaty:

Other Arms Trade Treaty reports

Armed Robbery: How the poorly regulated arms trade is paralyzing development

Stop a Bullet, Stop a War: Why ammunition must be included in the Arms Trade Treaty

The Devil is in the Detail: The importance of comprehensive and legally binding criteria for arms transfers