No Weapons For Dictators, Human Rights Abusers As Global Arms Treaty Comes Into Force
09:57 AM, December 23, 2014
A treaty laying down international rules for the $85 billion dollar global arms trade will go into force on Wednesday, compelling countries to set up national controls on arms exports.
According to treaty, States must assess whether a weapon could be used to circumvent an international embargo, be used for genocide and war crimes or be used by terrorists and organized crime.
The ATT covers international transfers of everything from tanks to combat aircraft to missiles, as well as small arms. It has been the first major arms accord since the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The United States, the world's largest arms producer and exporter, has signed the treaty but has yet to ratify it.
Other key exporters such as France, Britain and Germany have ratified the charter and pledged to adhere to its strict criteria aimed at cutting off weapons supplies to human rights violators worldwide.
A total of 130 countries have signed the treaty and 60 have ratified it, including Israel which joined the movement just this month.
Amnesty International noted that five of the top 10 arms exporters; France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain – have ratified the ATT. China and Russia have yet to sign on.
"For too long, arms and ammunition have been traded with few questions asked about whose lives they will destroy," said Anna Macdonald, director of the Control Arms coalition of non-governmental organisations.
Moscow has threatened to renege its commitment to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) both in the framework and in the area of non-proliferation with Washington.
"We have not taken any concrete steps in this direction,...