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Thu Apr 3, 2014, 09:47 PM

U.N. Arms Trade Treaty takes leap toward entry into force

U.N. Arms Trade Treaty takes leap toward entry into force

By Louis Charbonneau

(Reuters) - The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty took a major step forward on its eventual entry into force on Wednesday as 18 countries, including five of the world's top 10 arms exporters, delivered proof of its ratification to the United Nations...one year ago, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the treaty, which aims to regulate the $85 billion arms industry and to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers and criminals.

The treaty will enter into force once 50 countries have presented proof of ratification to the United Nations. With the latest 18 countries, there are now 31 ratifications out of 118 signatories, or 19 short of the number needed for the treaty to take effect.


Most of the countries that presented proof of ratification on Wednesday were from Europe - Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. The sole non-European country among the 18 latest ratifiers was El Salvador.


In a statement, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the treaty without delay...The United States, the world's top arms exporter, signed the Arms Trade Treaty in September, but has not yet ratified it. The National Rifle Association, a powerful U.S. gun lobby, is opposed to ratification of the treaty, even though it only covers weapons exports, not domestic gun sales.

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ProSense Apr 2014 OP
ProSense Apr 2014 #1

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Thu Apr 3, 2014, 10:09 PM

1. Amnesty International:

UN: Atrocities fuelled by inaction on Arms Trade Treaty promises

Millions of people around the world will continue to suffer the deadly consequences of the poorly regulated global trade in weapons until many more governments take rapid steps to bring the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) into force, Amnesty International warned a year after the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted the treaty.

On 2 April 2013, a total of 155 states voted in the UN General Assembly to adopt the ATT and 118 states have since signed the treaty, indicating their willingness to eventually bring it into their national law. But 43 of the states that supported the adoption of the treaty last year have yet to take any action whatsoever (see list below).

“Too many governments have been dragging their heels. The list of 43 absent signatures is mostly made up of countries where armed conflicts, violent repression and gun violence are more frequent, yet those states have the most to gain from the treaty. This is a major failure of political leadership,” said Brian Wood, Head of Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International.


If implemented effectively and robustly, the ATT will stop the flow of weapons to countries when it is known they would be used to commit or facilitate genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. Implementing the ATT strictly will also require states to assess the risk of transferring arms to another country: states have agreed the transfer will not go forward where there is an overriding risk the weapons could be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law.

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