The Story So Far


The idea of an arms trade treaty first came from Nobel Peace Laureates, supported by civil society organizations worldwide.

In 2003, the Control Arms campaign was launched and has since gathered support for the Arms Trade Treaty from over a million people worldwide.

In 2006, Control Arms handed over a global petition called “Million Faces” to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

In December 2006, 153 governments finally voted at the United Nations to start work on developing a global Arms Trade Treaty. Momentum for the treaty has been building ever since.

In 2009 the UN General Assembly launched a time frame for the negotiation of the Arms Trade Treaty. This included one preparatory meeting in 2010, two in 2011, and a negotiating conference.

In January 2010, the UN General Assembly decided to convene a Diplomatic Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012. It also requested the assistance of the Secretary-General in compiling a report containing the views of Member States on the proposed treaty elements and other relevant issues relating to the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty.

In July 2012 the Diplomatic Conference on the ATT was held acting as a month-long negotiation for all countries at the United Nations. The conference produced a draft treaty text, but failed to adopt a treaty by consensus after the United States, followed by Russia, and a few other states requested more time.

In November 2012, Member States voted and received a mandate to organize a final UN Conference on the ATT. The vote came on the last day of the UN’s First Committee and was passed with an unprecedented 157 votes in favour, 18 abstentions and 0 votes against.

On 18 – 28 March 2013, the Final Conference took place but it once again failed to produce a successful agreement on a Treaty. However, a large number of Member States moved to take the Treaty to the General Assembly in order to vote on it as quickly as possible.

On 2 April 2013,  The Arms Trade Treaty was finally adopted by a vote of 154 in favour, 3 against, and 23 abstentions.  It opened for signature on June 3rd, 2013!


Who supports an Arms Trade Treaty?

The individuals and organizations that called for a bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty came from diverse sectors of the society, demonstrating the broad-based support that existed for stronger regulations on arms trade.

Below are some of the groups that have spoken up in favor of a strong and effective ATT,  to protect the lives and livelihoods of those affected by the unregulated trade of arms. Visit their page to learn more about what they are now doing to promote the ratification, implementation and universalization of the Treaty.

Member Organizations

Members of the Control Arms Steering Board.

The following organizations are members of the Control Arms coalition:

imgAction on Armed Violence
imgAfghan Landmine Survivors Organization
imgAl Mesalla Organization For Human Resource Development
imgAlliance for Peace and Disability Rights
imgAlliance for the Observatory of Action on Armed Violence in Burundi (AOAVABU)
imgAmnesty International
imgArms Control Association (ACA)
imgArticle 36
imgAssociation for Sanitation and Economic Development (ASED)
img Assistance Advocacy Access
imgCampaña Colombiana Contra Minas
imgCaribbean Coalition for Development and the Reduction of Armed Violence (CDRAV)
imgCCFD-Terre Solidaire 
imgCentre for Peace, Security and Armed Violence Prevention (CPS-AVIP)
imgCenter for Women in Governance (CEWIGO)
imgCentro de Estudios Ecuménicos
imgCentro de Estudios sobre Justicia y Participación (CEJIP)
imgCercle des Jeunes pour une Société de Paix (CJSP)
imgChangeMaker – Society for Social and Economic Development
imgCivil Center for Freedom
imgCollectif Multisectoriel pour le Développement Intégral, CMDI
imgCommission Justice et Paix Belgique Francophone
imgCommunication et Développement Intégral (CDI)
imgControl Arms Foundation of India
imgControl Arms Jordan
imgDar Al-Salam Organization
imgEastern African Sub Regional Support Initiative for Advancement of Women (EASSI)
imgECPAT Guatemala
imgForward Step Foundation
imgFundació per la Pau
imgGlobal Alliance on Armed Violence (GAAV)
imgGlobal Network for Human Development (GOLHD Centre)
imgGlobal Potential
imgGrupo de Práctica em Direitos Humanos – Unipampa
imgHaiya Alal Falah Movement
imgHuman Security Initiative (MAMAN)
imgIglesia Evangélica Española
imgImpact on Lives Africa
imgIndian Institute for Peace, Disarmament & Environmental Protection
imgInstitute of Human Rights Communication Nepal (IHRICON)
imgInternational Peace Bureau
imgKenya Pastoralist Journalist Network
imgKikandwa Rural Communities Development Organization (KIRUCODO)
imgLandmine Survivors Initiative
imgLatin American Circle of International Studies Liberians United to Expose Hidden Weapons
imgLife Watch
imgManipur Women Gun Survivors Network
imgMine Action & Human Rights Foundation (MAHRF)
imgNorwegian Peace Association
imgObelisk Organization for the Development of Human Resources/Organization for Women’s Justice
imgOmega Foundation
imgPacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG)
imgPax Christi Flanders 
imgPax Christi International
imgPax Christi Wallonie-Bruxelles
imgPIR Center for Policy Studies
imgPRESS – Save the Children Youth Norway
imgProtection against Armaments
imgRede Desarma Brasil
imgRegional Centre for International Development Cooperation
Réseau d’Actions Paisibles des Anciens combattants pour le Développement Intégré de tous au Burundi (RAPACODIBU)

imgSERPAZ – Serviço de Paz 
imgSociety for Peacebuilding, Research and Integration of Normative Gender (SPRING)
imgSou da Paz
imgSouthern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD)
imgSupport To Deprived Peoples – SDP
imgSwedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (SweFor)
imgSwedish Peace and Arbitration Society
imgTajikistan Centre to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions 
imgThe Atlas Alliance
imgThe Centre for Land, Economy & Rights of Women (CLEAR)
imgTransitions Foundation of Guatemala
imgTransparency International UK – Defence and Security Programme
imgTunisie Libre
imgUNA-UKimg Vision GRAM-International
imgWar Child Canada
imgWest Africa Network For Peacebuilding – WANEP
imgWomen for Peace and Democracy
imgWomen’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD)
imgWomen’s Right to Education Program (WREP)
imgWorld Voices Uganda 
Join As An Individual

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Facts and Stats Use

Verified stats about the irresponsible arms trade with indicated sources.