Arms Trade Treaty

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 17, 2022, 5:03

The Arms Trade Treaty is the agreement between the nations regulating international trade in conventional arms, including small arms, combat aircraft, battle tanks, and warships. The UN Arms Trade Treaty also controls the flow of weapons that individuals can use against humanity.

This treaty came into force on 24th December 2014. The UN General Assembly adopted this treaty on 2nd April 2013.

The US signed this treaty in September 2013. Other countries like France, Britain, and Germany also signed this treaty. However, many top arms export countries such as China, Russia, India, and Pakistan have not signed it yet.

Origin of the Arms Trade Treaty

In the late 1980s, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates with some civil society actors first voiced their concerns relating to the illicit global arms trade and its adverse effect.

In 1997, Costa Rica offered the world a code of conduct for the arms trade. The international community adopted this treaty. In December 2006, 153 members voted in favour of the treaty while 24 countries abstained. On 2nd April 2013, the UN General adopted the treaty.

On 3rd June 2013, the UN opened this treaty for formal signature by all its members. The UN Arms Trade Treaty entered into force after 90 days of the 50th ratification, on 24th December 2014.

Aims of the Arms Trade Treaty

Many members of the UN General consider the Arms Trade Treaty as a successful new tool to establish world peace. The aims of this treaty include:

  • To mobilise resources to support the ratification and implementation of suitable treaties relating to arms trade regulation.
  • To reduce human suffering caused due to the illegal and irresponsible transfer of conventional arms.
  • To promote transparency and accountability by state parties of UN Generals concerned about the transfer of conventional arms.
  • To improve the effectiveness of assistance from state parties by developing monitoring, coordination, and matching of resources.

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Importance of the Arms Trade Treaty

The UN Arms Trade Treaty is important because of its current issues. The current problem that ATT is facing is the imbalance of expenses.

Some governments spend too much on the military and spend too little on the country's development in the field of healthcare, and education, leaving no expense for the Arms Trade Treaty.

The government should also spend some expenses on ATT since it is essential for protecting the country from terrorist attacks, civil war, etc.

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Has India Accepted the Arms Trade Treaty?

India had not signed the Arms Trade Treaty because this treaty's primary focus is on the illicit trafficking of conventional arms. Terrorists used these weapons, and India is weak on terrorism. India also didn't ratify this treaty.

The UN Arms Trade Treaty is an important document as it contains many essential elements of the arms trade. The treaty controls the regulation over importing, exporting, and transit of conventional weapons between nations.

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FAQs on Arms Trade Treaty

Q1) What is the Arms Trade Treaty?

The Arms Trade Treaty is the agreement between the nations regulating international trade in conventional arms, including small arms, combat aircraft, battle tanks, and warships. It also controls the flow of weapons that individuals can use against humanity.

Q2) When did the Arms Trade Treaty come into force?

The Arms Trade Treaty came into force on 24th December 2014. The UN General Assembly adopted this treaty on 2nd April 2013.

Q3) Which countries signed the UN Arms Trade Treaty?

The US signed the UN Arms Trade Treaty in September 2013. Other countries like France, Britain, and Germany also signed this treaty. However, many top arms export countries such as China, Russia, India, and Pakistan have not signed it yet.

Q4) What is the aim of the Arms Trade Treaty?

The primary aim of the Arms Trade Treaty is to reduce human suffering caused due to the illegal and irresponsible transfer of conventional arms.

Q5) Why is the Arms Trade Treaty important?

The Arms Trade Treaty is important because it controls the regulation over importing, exporting, and transit of conventional weapons between nations.