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.



The Benin national section of the West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA) engaged with students, politicians and journalists to ensure the widest possible coverage of the week.

The Asian Youth Centre and the Centre for Policy Advocacy organised a public meeting on the ATT in Delhi that included a speech by Major Mitali of the Indian Army.

The Control Arms Foundation of India and Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network held a successful meeting in Imphal, Manipur on the India side of the Indo-Burma border.

On 16 June religious leaders from a range of faiths met at the Gandhi Study Centre in Chennai, India to discuss the formation of the first Interreligious Movement for an Arms Trade Treaty, led by Caritas International.

The Monitoring Mechanism Towards an Arms Trade Treaty (MMTATT) held a book signing at the New York Public Library on June 18.

In Southern Sudan, members of the public participated in a series of radio debates to discuss solutions to “Gun violence as an obstacle to socio- economic progress in the new Republic of South Sudan”.

From 11-15 July 2011, delegations from all UN Member States will meet at the UN Headquarters in New York to participate in the third Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Preparatory Committee.

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), leading members of the IANSA Public Health Network, are using the Week of Action to highlight the public health aspects of small arms:

In France, Association Action Sécurité Etique Républicaines (ASER) has issued a press release calling the French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, and parliamentarians who are members of the relevant working groups to promote a strong ATT.

IANSA members, as part of the Control Arms Coalition, are lobbying governments through a letter writing action to call for stronger regulation of the global arms trade.

In West Africa, activities have been organised by several national networks that are members of WAANSA, the West African Action Network on Small Arms.

Hundreds of students attended a lecture organised by the Control Arms Foundation of India, held by Professor of Sociology Ms. Elizabeth Imti on the proliferation of guns & gun violence and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in Mokokchung Nagaland, Northeastern India.

The IANSA Women's Network is calling women from around the world to sign on to an open letter calling for a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

Amnesty UK have launched a campaign to reengage its members in the Arms Trade Treaty process.

Good Generation of Burundi hosted a press conference in Bujumbura, which was attended by the President of the National Standing Committee for civilian disarmament,

In Brazil, Instituto Sou da Pas has launched a ‘cyberaction’ encouraging people to tweet or submit photos of themselves featuring the word ‘#desarme’ (disarmament).

An article on the UN Dispatch website explains how the Arms Trade Treaty will, and will not, affect national policies on gun ownership in the United States.

On 6 May, the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, the Foundation for Strategic Research and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research hosted a seminar on "The ATT: perspectives and issues of implementation" in Geneva, Switzerland.

On 21 May, the Southern Sudan Action Network on Small Arms and IKV Pax Christi held a joint workshop for members of the state legislative assembly in Upper Nile State, Southern Sudan.

Sarah Mastersand other IANSA women participated in the conference of the Nobel Women's Initiative ‘Women Forging a New Security: Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict’ from 23-25 May 2011 in Quebec, Canada.

On 17-25 May, Florella Hazeley of the Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANSA) joined individuals and religious groups from all over the world at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC), organised by the World Council of Churches in Kingston, Jamaica.

This article was written by IANSA Women's Network coordinator Sarah Masters for the openDemocracy website and makes the case for an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that protects women by linking to the existing binding international instruments covering gender-based violence.

The UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) has issued an Aide Memoir outlining the accreditation procedure for Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to participate at the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty<--break->, Third Session (PrepCom) 11-15 July 2011.

On 12 May, IANSA members Fundacio per la Pau, Centre d’Estudis per a la Pau J.M. Delas and Action on Armed Violence, alongside Ranveig Svenning Berg from the IANSA Secretariat, gave presentations on civil society involvement in peace and disarmament and the campaign for an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at a conference in Castellón, Spain.

An article by IANSA woman Folade Mutota of WINAD and the Caribbean Coalition for Development and the Reduction of Armed Violence places the need for a strong and comprehensive ATT in the Caribbean context.

A new Women’s Network Bulletin is now available.

From 27-29 April members of IANSA from Latin America and the Caribbean, as part of the Control Arms Campaign, are participating in a seminar on "Supporting the Arms Trade Treaty Negotiations through Regional Discussions and Expertise Sharing" in Montevideo, Uruguay.

On 15 April, civil society addressed the Consultative Committee of the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Material (CIFTA) of the Organisation of American States (OAS) in Washington DC, US.

The Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI) and the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network observed the Global Day of Action Against Military Spending on 12 April with a drumming event and vigil in New Delhi, India.

In the new report 'Moment of Truth for Yemen', Amnesty International documents the brutal repression of a wave of protests against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh which has left 94 dead according to the organisation’s latest figures.