Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

announcement from the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

In preparation for the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which will be held in New York from 2 to 27 July 2012, the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs has launched a special website (English only) and prepared a series of information materials (please see attachments)

The General Assembly has convened a Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), from 2 to 27 July 2012 in New York, “to negotiate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms”.

The United Nations Secretariat provides the venue for these talks between governmental representatives, and facilitates their meetings – but it is not a party to the negotiations.

Non-governmental organizations, such as human rights and development groups, gun-control organizations and gun-rights supporters, have also shown a keen interest in the ATT negotiations as has the arms manufacturing and trading industry.

The ATT conference is historic: It represents the first time ever that States gather to negotiate a treaty regulating conventional arms under the auspices of the United Nations.

The goal is the adoption of a robust and legally binding Arms Trade Treaty that will have a real impact on the lives of those millions of people suffering from the consequences of armed conflict, repression, armed violence, rampant crime and widespread insecurity.

Quite expectably, the treaty negotiations are fraught with challenges. The global arms trade has complex ramifications that touch on core national interests. There are thus various legitimate concerns and perspectives at play here. There is also a certain misconception of the goals of the conference among many in public at large; and false information is floating around as the gun-lobby organizations see in the treaty a potential threat.