The Arms Trade Treaty

Every day thousands of people are killed, injured, raped, and forced to flee from their homes as a result of the poorly regulated global arms trade. Conventional weapons facilitate these abuses, and in response IANSA, as part of the Control Arms alliance, is calling for a bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty (ATT): a global, legally binding agreement that will better control irresponsible international transfers of conventional weapons and munitions.

The ATT will be negotiated in July 2012 and IANSA aims to ensure that it has the means to reduce levels of gun violence and decrease the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

This can be achieved by the inclusion of strong and relevant provisions in the Treaty text, and including small arms and light weapons and related ammunition within the scope of the Treaty. It is also essential that measures to prevent gender based violence and sexual violence against women are part of the ATT. To protect women's rights, the relevant binding international instruments covering gender based violence, including rape and sexual violence, must be applied in arms transfer decisions. To read more click here.

To see a more detailed description of how SALW and related ammunition should be included in the ATT click here.



In Paris, Amnesty France and partners organised a successful event in front of Eurosatory, an international security and defence exhibition displaying a wide range of arms for sale, including small arms and light weapons. Pictures are available here.The President of Amnesty France wrote an article on the international arms sales exhibition and the ATT in the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.

In the lead up of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, next week, Amnesty International Mexico is participating in a national contest co-organised by Save the Children and the G-20 presidency (Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs). The children of AI Mexico staff members recorded messages about real cases of armed violence in Mexico and asking the G-20 for strong controls on the arms trade. The stories most “liked” in the contest will be taken to the negotiations.

As part of their ongoing strategy to apply pressure on the “Big Six” arms exporters, Amnesty International is having a global Tweet-a-thon targeting the foreign ministries of the USA, UK, France, Russia and China during the Global Week of Action. Each day AI will target one of the “Big Six” countries. On Day 1 of the Global Week of Action, tweeters targeted the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who responded in turn with a positive tweet on the ATT.

Women in Alternative Action Cameroon held discussions with authorities of the Ministry of External Relations in Cameroon to bring attention to the forthcoming ATT conference and the need for quick ratification of the Kinshasa Convention and to call for improvement of Cameroon’s gun policy.

Daniel Mack of Instituto Sou da Paz and member of IANSA’s International Advisory Council (IAC) has written an article on the massacres in Syria and the need for a robust Arms Trade Treaty entitled “‘International Community’: To Syria, What Is It Good For?” The article is available here.

The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, has called on governments to work with civil society during the Global Week of Action against Gun Violence, 11-17 June 2012. In her endorsement of the WoA, Ms Kane highlighted the importance of small arms control in the global disarmament agenda.

Amnesty International and the Control Arms campaign call on IANSA members to sign an online appeal to governments that calls for a bullet proof Arms Trade Treaty.


On 21-22 May 2012, IANSA together with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) organised a conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to prepare for the ATT Diplomatic Conference in July 2012.

More than $2.2bn worth of arms and ammunition have been imported since 2000 to countries operating under arms embargoes, according to the new report “The Devil is in the Detail”  by Oxfam International.

A total of 300,000 small arms have been smuggled into Uganda and other East African Community countries over the last 10 years, according to the East Africa Action Network on Small Arms (EAANSA). In a recent press conference, they called on governments of the East African Community to support a strong ATT which is legally binding and includes criteria that can help prevent arms transfers where there is a substantial risk that they will be used to violate international human rights, humanitarian law or undermine development.

On April 26-27, representatives of civil society and the Control Arms coalition met with 15 member states from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria. Discussions focused on strengthening the ECOWAS common position on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) ahead of the final ATT negotiations in July.

Les associations et organisations belges francophones membres du RAIAL (Réseau d’Action international sur les Armes Légères) ont adressé aujourd’hui aux membres du Comité ministériel wallon restreint, aux parlementaires wallons et aux présidents de partis

Thanks to Kerian N. Pelenah of Liberians United to Expose Hidden Weapons for sharing this statement on the conviction of former Liberian president Charles Taylor.

On 23 April, members of the Philippine Action Network to Control Arms (PhilANCA) met with government agencies for a consultation on the Philippines’ position on the ATT.

A recent article by Orlidy Inoa of the Caribbean Institute for the Rule of Law (ICED), Dominican Republic, on the ATT has been published in the online publication Acento. Read it here.

There are two stages involved in accrediting your NGO, and registering participants to attend the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Diplomatic Conference, UN Headquarters in New York, 2-27 July 2012.

On 5 April, alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison in a US Court.

Pax Christi International has joined the global campaign for a strong ATT with a new resource pack providing a faith and ethics based analysis of the arms trade.

IANSA women, the Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), have released the latest edition of their publication Women’s Lexis.

On 20 March, IANSA members hosted a press conference in Bamako, Mali, on the campaign for a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to help prevent serious human rights abuses and atrocities committed with small arms.

IANSA member Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security (GRIP) have released a new report on ‘Ammunition controls, the ATT, and Africa: Challenges, requirements, and scope for action’.

From 29 February – 2 March, Pacific states are meeting for a Regional Small Arms and Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Workshop in Brisbane, Australia.

An interview about why small arms must be included in the ATT with IANSA Women’s Network Coordinator Sarah Masters has been published in Pax, a Swedish magazine

Members of the Control Arms coalition in the Middle East and North Africa have launched a new Facebook page on the Arms Trade Treaty.

During the ATT PrepCom, IANSA members were active lobbying, campaigning and hosting side events.

On 17 February, the fourth ATT Preparatory Committee ended after states finally agreed on rules of procedure for the final negotiations in July this year.

Former IANSA Board member Dr Mick North, who lost his 5-year old daughter in the 1996 Dunblane primary school shooting, is calling on the UK government to support a strong ATT that can help prevent gun violence.

From 13–17 February, IANSA staff and members are in New York to follow the fourth Preparatory Committee on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT PrepCom) at UN headquarters in New York.

The new report 'Transparency and accountability: monitoring and reporting methods under an Arms Trade Treaty' has been released by TransArms Research and the International Peace Information Service (IPIS).

This week, UN member states are gathering in New York for the fourth session of preparatory committee (PrepCom) meetings on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).