UNDP praises countries for signing Arms Trade Treaty

04 Jun 2013

image A bullet hole in a district security office in Karamoja, Uganda, serves as a reminder of its recent and more lawless past. (Photo: Khristopher Carlson/IRIN)

New York - The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has commended countries that have signed the landmark UN-backed Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the first of its kind to regulate both the legitimate and illicit multibillion-dollar trade in conventional weapons.

“One person dies around the world every minute from armed violence,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said. “Given that the trade in arms fuels conflict, human rights abuses, and rolls back development gains, the need to halt the uncontrolled flow of guns is clear.

"I am very pleased that the Arms Trade Treaty opened for signature and UNDP commends the countries that have already agreed to sign it. The treaty will reduce the human suffering caused by this industry,” she said.

More than 60 countries signed the UN-brokered treaty on Monday, 3 June, at the General Assembly in New York. The agreement seeks to protect human rights by trying to make the global arms trade more transparent, as well as to tackle the illegal flow of weapons.

Countries whose legislatures will now ratify the treaty will be bound to respect international embargoes and ensure that private and state-brokered arms deals will not lead to the violation of human rights.

They must also take measures to guarantee that arms cannot be used unlawfully by third parties. The General Assembly’s 193 Member Countries originally approved the Arms Trade Treaty in early April this year.

Only 50 countries need to ratify the accord for it to come into force.

UNDP and a number of other agencies played an active role in highlighting the humanitarian and development imperatives of the treaty. Building resilience to conflicts and disasters is at the heart of UNDP's work.

UNDP helps countries prevent armed conflict and has long-supported the development and implementation of international instruments such as the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Mine Ban Treaty, and most recently the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development signed by 112 Member States.

For more information visit: http://www.un.org/disarmament/ATT/