About Arms Control
Conventional arms kill far more people a year than nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, yet they often receive less public attention and scrutiny. The flow of conventional weapons and munitions into deadly conflict zones often fuels and intensifies violence, resulting in the death of a third of a million people a year at the hands of illicit weapons. Civilians, especially women and children, are often the primary victims when weapons like cluster munitions and land mines are used in conflicts.
Regulating the production, trade, and use of different types of conventional arms and munitions is essential to protecting civilians and preventing the destructive effects of armed conflicts on society. GlobalSolutions.org is committed to advocating for international treaties that control the destructive reach of conventional arms and will continue to work with the U.S. government to better align U.S. policies with recognized international norms.
Arms Control and International Treaties
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)
A treaty to create global standards for the import, export, and transfer of conventional arms is in the process of being developed at the UN. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has the potential to impact the severity of conflicts around the world by ending the widespread practice of irresponsible arms transfers. The ATT's creation is a response to the broad international movement that has demanded greater regulation of the multi-billion dollar industry.
In 2010, the first preparatory meeting was convened to lay the groundwork for the treaty, which aims to be completed by 2012. The Obama administration supports the treaty, reversing long-standing U.S. policy against regulating the global arms trade. As the world's number one exporter of conventional arms, the U.S. is the most important country to join the effort. GlobalSolutions.org supports the creation of a strong and legally-binding ATT.
Factsheet: The Arms Trade Treaty - September 2010
Resources and Links
- Briefing Note: Dying for Action, Oxfam Briefing Note, October 2009 Briefing note urges the UN to move forward quickly on an effective ATT and provides key recommendations for the UN and States.
- Briefing Paper: U.S. Policy and the Arms Trade Treaty Briefing Paper, Rachel Stohl, February 2010 Briefing paper reviews the history of U.S. policy regarding arms exports and the Obama administration's position on the development of an ATT.
- Paper: A Global Arms Trade Treaty: What States Want, Amnesty International, October 2007 Paper summarizes the views of member states toward the potential ATT, highlighting the strong and growing consensus on the need for a comprehensive ATT.
- United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs:This website provides links to relevant documents produced by the Open-Ended Working Group on an Arms Trade Treaty since 2009.
- Security Council Report Publications on Small Arms: This website provides links to relevant arms control documents produced by the Security Council Report
Arms Trade Stats
Global Distribution of Arms and Ammunition Exports
Weapons Imports and Exports
In Support of Arms Control
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children... This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.'
~ Dwight Eisenhower, U.S. President
"...the Arms Trade Treaty initiative presents us with the opportunity to promote the same high standards for the entire international community that the United States and other responsible arms exporters already have in place to ensure that weaponry is transferred for legitimate purposes."
~ Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State
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