UN: NPWJ welcomes adoption of Arms Trade Treaty

3 Apr, 2013 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome-New York, 3 April 2013

Yesterday, governments at the United Nations adopted by an overwhelming majority an Arms Trade Treaty that will regulate the international transfer and export of conventional arms and help prevent their proliferation in countries where these weapons may be used to commit or facilitate atrocities, including crimes against humanity, war crimes or genocide.
154 states voted to adopt the treaty while Iran, North Korea and Syria voted against and 23 other states (including Russia, China and India) abstained.
The international treaty will be opened for signatures and ratification on 3 June 2013 at the UN General Assembly and will enter into force after its ratification by 50 states.
Statement by Niccolo’ Figa-Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the adoption, after a seven-year long negotiating process, of this extremely important tool that can stem the flow of arms into countries where they could be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

“The strict rules set by the treaty cover major categories of conventional arms, including small arms and light weapons which proliferate in countries in low-level conflict, where armed violence causes massive and indiscriminate harm to civilians, in particular to vulnerable groups such as women and children.

“Further to the entry into force of the global ban on the production and use of cluster munitions in 2010, the treaty adopted today strengthens the global commitment to govern the arms trade with legally-binding controls aligned with states’ international obligations in terms of human rights and humanitarian law, as well as international criminal law.

“We urge all States to sign, ratify and implement the Treaty within the shortest time frame possible, in order to realise its full potential as a tool to protect civilians and to prevent more human suffering in the future.”
For more information: contact Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3915.