UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty Full Text


UN General Assembly – TRANSCEND Media Service

Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty – New York, 18-28 March 2013

The States Parties to this Treaty,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling Article 26 of the Charter of the United Nations which seeks to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources, . . .



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2 Responses to “UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty Full Text”

  1. satoshi says:

    For the convenience of the TMS readers, let me briefly outline the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) regarding the following six items:

    1. The significance of the ATT: “to regulate the arms trade at the highest possible standards” as a realistic step.

    When Neil Armstrong stepped on the Moon, he said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” As to the ATT, it can be said, “That’s one small international treaty for a State, one giant leap for the international community.” Why one giant leap for the international community? Some weapon-abolitionists might raise such question. They might dismiss the ATT by claiming that the ATT is nothing but the justification of arms trades. But things are not so easy as weapon-abolitionists think because the abolition of weapons relates to the sovereignty of the State, the right of self-defense and any other relevant issues and principles of international law. Any international action must be implemented in accordance with international law (including the UN Charter) and relevant principles.

    If it is impossible to abolish the arms trade in the foreseeable future, one of the best possible and realistic steps is to regulate it. The ATT, as stipulated in Article 1, attempts “to establish the highest possible common international standards for the arms trade”.

    2. Considerations behind the ATT:

    – The ATT is based on the purposed and principles of the UN Charter, including Article 26 (http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter5.shtml ).
    – Responding to the need to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in international arms and to prevent their diversion to the illicit market or for unauthorized end-users.
    – Recognizing legitimate international arms trade of the State.
    – Reaffirming the sovereign right of the State to regulate arms in its territories.
    – Acknowledging the three pillars of the UN are inter-linked and strengthening each other: (1) peace and security, (2) development and (3) human rights.
    – Recalling the UN Disarmament Commission Guidelines for international arms transfer (UNGA Res. 46/36H of 6 December 1991 http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/46/36&Lang=E&Area=RESOLUTION).
    – Considering relevant UN Action plans, including the “United Nations Programme of Action to
    All Its Aspects”.
    – Recognizing the security, social, economic and humanitarian consequences of illicit and unregulated arms trades.
    – Considering all other relevant factors and issues, including the role of civil society, those civilians, especially women and children, who could affected by armed conflict and violence, the legitimate ownership of conventional weapons, the non-hamper of international cooperation because of the regulation of the trade of weapons and more.

    3. Principles behind the ATT:

    The eight principles that lie behind the ATT are as follows:

    (1) Article 51 of the UN Charter. (The right of self-defense)
    (2) Article 2 (3) of the UN Charter. (Settlement of international dispute by peaceful means)
    (3) Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter. (Refraining of the threat or use of force)
    (4) Article 2 (7) of the UN Charter. (Non-intervention of domestic issues except issues relating to Chapter VII)
    (5) The 1949 Geneva Conventions and relevant human rights norms, including the UN Charter overall and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
    (6) State responsibility for (i) regulating international arms trades, (ii) preventing their diversion and (ii) establishing and implementing the national control system of arms.
    (7) The respect of the right of the State for the legitimate acquirement of conventional arms for self-defense and peacekeeping operations as well as conventional arms trade business.
    (8) Implementation of the ATT in a consistent, objective and non-discriminative manner.

    4. Objectives of the ATT:

    The ATT aims at achieving the two main objectives (stipulated in Article 1):
    (1) To establish the highest possible international standards for the conventional international arms trade.
    (2) To prevent and eradicate the illicit arms trade and prevent its diversion.

    5. Purposes of the ATT:

    The ATT has three main purposes (stipulated in Article 1):
    (1) Contributing to international and regional peace, security and stability.
    (2) Reducing human suffering.
    (3) Promoting cooperation, transparency and responsible action by the State Parties.

    6. Structure of the ATT:

    The ATT is composed of 28 articles.

    – Object and purpose: Article 1.
    – Scope: Article 2.
    – Kinds of arms: Articles 3-4.
    – General implementation: Article 5.
    – Prohibitions: Article 6.
    – Export, export assessment, import and transit: Articles 7-9.
    – Brokering: Article 10.
    – Diversion: Article 11.
    – Record keeping: Article 12.
    – Reporting: Article 13.
    – Enforcement: Article 14.
    – International cooperation, assistance and conference: Articles 15- 17.
    – Secretariat: Article 18.
    – Dispute settlement: Article 19.
    – Miscellaneous matters, including relevant procedures of the ATT: Articles 20-28.