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.



Control Arms has been nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize by the International Peace Bureau (IPB). Control Arms is a global civil society alliance launched jointly in 2003 by IANSA, Amnesty International and Oxfam to advocate for a strong Arms Trade Treaty.

Nearly 150 Members of Parliament worldwide have signed the Parliamentarian Declaration on the Arms Trade Treaty. According to the Control Arms Secretariat, “Support from parliamentarians is critical to our long-term success

The UK section of Amnesty International is calling on leaders of the major political parties in the UK to commit to supporting a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty.

So far, 1080 people have added their voice to the ‘Speak Out’ Campaign, launched by Control Arms on 14 December. It aims to mobilise support for a ‘Bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty’

Katherine Prizeman elaborates on the differences and common features of the anticipated Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA) in a blog article for  Global Action to Prevent War.

In Pakistan, IANSA member Alliance for Peace & Disability Rights (APDR) and SPRING International have organised a series of events to raise awareness and mobilise around arms control in schools and local communities in conflict affected areas in the Swat District.

The US has repeatedly transferred arms to Egypt, including small arms and ammunition, despite evidence of Egyptian security forces using excessive force against protesters.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has signed an Interfaith Declaration on an Arms Trade Treaty. He said, "A historic decision was made in 2009 to negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty.

An article about the Control Arms campaign written by Luis Gutierrez-Esparza of CLAEI, an IANSA member in Mexico, has been published on the website Guru Político.

On 3 November, Fundació per la Pau and the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP) held a meeting on ‘Analysis Tools on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)’.

On 21 October, the World Council of Churches (WCC) hosted the seminar "United Nations Hearing on the Global Arms Trade Treaty" in New York.Participants heard testimonies from those particularly affected by armed violence and human rights abuses as a result of the proliferation of small arms. Antonio Rangel Bandeira of Viva Rio, an IANSA member in Brazil, spoke about the relationship between gun trafficking and high rates of gun-related deaths.

Civil society organisations addressed the UN General Assembly First Committee on 25 October.

The newly elected IANSA International Advisory Council (IAC) held its second teleconference meeting on 19 October. The meeting focused on priorities for IANSA in 2012

The US, Russia and European countries have supplied large quantities of weapons to Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen since 2005, despite evidence that there was a substantial risk that they could be used to commit serious human rights violations.

The trial against arms broker Viktor Bout begins in New York, US, on 11 October. Bout was arrested in 2008 for trying to sell arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Africa suffers enormously from conflict and armed violence. As well as the human tragedy, armed conflict costs Africa around $18bn per year, seriously derailing development.

This is the fourth edition of IANSA’s quarterly UN bulletin, issued as part of our efforts to assist you in your UN related work.

A brand new IANSA briefing paper gives an overview of the differences between the UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA) and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

From 26-30 September, member states of the African Union are meeting in Lomé, Togo to consider a draft SALW control strategy, and elaborate an African Common Position on the ATT for the negotiating conference in 2012.

From the International Day of Peace on 21 September until 2 October, activists across Belgium including IANSA members Pax Christi Vlaanderen will mark Belgian National Peace Week.

This document outlines recommendations that would strengthen areas of the Arms Trade Treaty that have the potential to control and reduce the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and related ammunition. The inclusion of these is vital if the Arms Trade Treaty is to be effective in saving lives and reducing serious injury to people around the world.

Guns made in Brazil have been sold to former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and other leaders that have used armed violence to repress their population

The Control Arms campaign has launched the "Dozen Days of Action for a Robust Arms Trade Treaty" (ATT), an interfaith campaign running from 21 September until 2 October.

This brand new briefing paper gives an overview of the differences between the UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA) and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

On 7 September, the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) met with the UN Secretary-General as part of the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland, New Zealand. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, they reaffirmed their commitment to cooperating on national priorities which included, “Controlling the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and negotiation of an Arms Trade Treaty”.

“An Arms Trade Treaty makes sense for US interests”, according to a recent opinion piece by Jeff Abramson of the Control Arms Secretariat.

The dates for next year’s meetings on an Arms Trade Treaty have now been announced:

From 31 July to 3 August women campaigners from all over the world gathered at the International Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

An article by Kenneth Epps of Project Ploughshares outlines how Canada’s contributions to discussions at the ATT PrepCom, 11-15 July, show a negative change in the country’s position on the ATT.