UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the imminent entry into force of the landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which seeks to regulate the global trade in conventional arms.
Ban said on Tuesday that it would mark “the opening of a new chapter in our collective efforts to bring responsibility, accountability and transparency to the global arms trade”, Xinhua reported.
The ATT was adopted April 2, 2013 by the UN General Assembly (UNGA). As of Dec 23, 60 states have ratified the treaty and 130 have signed it, indicating that they intend to ratify it.
The treaty would enter into force Wednesday, Ban said in a statement.
The ATT, the first legally-binding multilateral treaty regulating the international trade in conventional arms, has been ratified by the requisite 50 states in September. States that have ratified the ATT are required to assess the impact of any arms transfer on human rights and international humanitarian law.
“From now on, the states (which are) parties to this important treaty will have a legal obligation to apply the highest common standards to international transfers of weapons and ammunition,” Ban said.
“The speed with which the ATT came into force — less than two years since its historic adoption by the UNGA — is testimony to the commitment of states, international organisations and (the) civil society to stop irresponsible arms transfers,” Ban’s statement said.
The UN chief said that he was encouraged by the multitude of initiatives and activities that have already been undertaken by various entities to assist in the implementation of the ATT.
“The United Nations will continue to work in partnership with states, regional organisations and (the) civil society to ensure that all states (which are) parties (to the treaty) will have the capacity to fully comply with the provisions of the treaty,” the statement said, adding that the multi-donor United Nations Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation in Arms Regulation (UNSCAR) has proven to be an effective tool to that end.
Ban also emphasised on the need to promote universal participation in the ATT and called on states, which have still not joined the treaty to accede to it without delay.