Arms Trade Treaty

Before the adoption (2013) of the landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by the General Assembly, there was no global set of rules governing the trade in conventional weapons.

Through the ATT, States have agreed on robust international standards to help guide governments in deciding whether to authorise arms transfers. It provides for cooperation and assistance to help countries develop adequate regulatory systems, and safe weapons stockpiles.

The ATT covers all conventional weapons: from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. It includes ammunition and parts & components.

Basic facts

States Parties 94
Ratifications 89
Accessions 5
Signatories 130

GA vote adopting the ATT 154-3-23
Adopted by the GA 2 April 2013
Entry into force 24 December 2014
Next annual reporting deadline 31 May 2019
No treaty amendments until 24 December 2020

The United Nations and the ATT

Key roles of the United Nations include providing a channel for assistance (art. 2), and all actions related to being the depositary of the treaty (art. 27), but the ATT mentions the UN 23 times.

For annual national reports on weapons exports and imports, the ATT takes the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) as a model.