Under the new rules in the ATT, before any arms transfer takes place, the supplier government must assess associated risks of the deal against strict criteria, including whether the arms might be used for human rights violations or war crimes. If there is a substantial risk of this happening, the deal cannot be authorized by the seller.
The treaty, which “enter-into-force” and become international law on December 24, 2014, aims to set the highest standards for controlling the $85 billion international trade of arms and ammunition and to cut the supply of weapons to all dictators and human rights abusers.
To date, 129 states have signed the ATT, with 60 having ratified it. These include major arms exporters such as France, the UK and Germany.
Oxfam spokesperson Mariam Kemple Hardy said:
“The Arms Trade Treaty will transform the global arms business. It can help to shine a spot-light on the end-user. It will no longer be acceptable to look the other way when arms are transferred to regimes that will use them to harm innocent people and violate their human rights.”
Campaigners hailed a “huge victory” as after more than a decade of campaigning, the Arms Trade Treaty today becomes international law at last. Oxfam has worked with the Control Arms coalition to make this treaty a reality.