On 2 April 2013, history was made as the Arms Trade Treaty — the first agreement to control global arms sales — received an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote at the United Nations in New York.
The Treaty came into force on 24 December 2014, and now has almost 70 state parties including Australia.
Civilians have been paying too high a price for the lack of global arms controls which have permitted arms and ammunition to be legally transferred into the hands of dictators and warlords.
Did you know:
- Two bullets are made for every person on the planet every year
- Up to 2,000 people die each day from armed violence, and hundreds of thousands more are displaced, maimed or lost their livelihood
- Conflict costs African countries $18 billion US every year
Now governments have the chance to change the arms trade for good, and if rigorously implemented this treaty will save lives.
Now that the Treaty is a reality, the next major challenge is to ensure that the treaty — which sets new international law — is implemented robustly. We also still need to encourage every state to sign up to the Arms Trade Treaty. The more countries that sign and ratify the treaty the greater the impact that the treaty can have.