Arms Trade

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Analysis Paper on Arms Trade Treaty

Since the creation of man-devised weaponry, the issue of inhumane, illicit, and corrupt arms trade has perpetrated and littered the enterprise with a deluge of human rights violations. An unprecedented, though still imperfect, solution to mediate the atrocities and grossly negligent surveillance of arms trade was adopted on April 2, 2013 by the United Nations (UN) and officially deemed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Garnering widespread, global support, the ATT is the premier, international treaty aiming at regulating interstate transfers of conventional arms. Since it opened for signatories on June 3, 2013, the ATT has attained signatures from 116 states, an unexpected high percentage considering the capricious nature of arms usage worldwide. Though the ATT has made leaps and provided much-needed framework for responsibility and restraint in international transfers of arms, there is still much work that needs to be done, with only twelve states having ratified the treaty and illicit, unregulated arms trade a prevalent violator of civil rights and human life today. The ATT is unique and significant, as it is the first legally binding, international instrument created with the purpose of binding states to responsible and effective control over all types of international arms trade. After almost two decades of civil activism and advocacy, seeking a means of which to regulate the alarmingly massive and illegal sector of global arms transfers, and seven years after the UN General Assembly resolution 61/89, which sought “[a] legally binding instrument establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms”, the UN General Assembly passed the ATT with a vote of 154-3-23 (Saferworld). Within the UN General Assembly, actual negotiations officially began at a month-long Diplomatic Conference (DipCon1) in July 2012. Though substantial progress was made during the initial conference, the...
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