In just over one year, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has made history again by achieving the 50 ratifications necessary to activate entry-into-force. At a High Level event at the United Nations today, eight states – Argentina, the Bahamas, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Senegal and Uruguay – deposited their instruments of ratification, bringing the overall total to 53.
Exceeding the 50th ratification has now triggered a 90 day countdown towards entry-into-force, which will happen on 24th December. At this point the ATT will become international law. This rapid achievement demonstrates the high level of strong political leadership and commitment toward the ATT, as well as the dynamic role played by civil society through the Control Arms Race to 50.
To mark this accomplishment Control Arms has launched a new webpage: 50 celebrating 50. The webpage features photos and quotes from 50 individuals from across civil society, government and the UN whose input was important in the securing of the ATT.
Check out the webpages here in English, Spanish or French, and add your own story.
Today’s High Level event was convened by Saint Lucia’s Alva R. Baptiste, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation, and included speeches from Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and Anna Macdonald on behalf of Control Arms.
“The most important message today is that the imminent entry into force of the ATT presents the chance to change the arms trade. The chance to change the unconstrained flood of arms and ammunition into the world’s worst conflict zones. The chance to change the culture of ‘if we don’t sell them, someone else will’.” Anna Macdonald
Read Anna’s full speech here.
Each of the ratifying States also spoke about the importance of the ATT entering into the force. Mexico, as host of the First Conference of States Parties, and Iceland, the first State to ratify also delivered speeches on the potential impact the Treaty can have.
“With wide acceptance and well planned implementation the Treaty will reduce arms flows to conflict regions, terrorists, pirates and other criminals. The treaty will help prevent violations of human rights, humanitarian law by use of arms against civilians and prevent gender based violence. The Treaty will foster peace, security and development.” Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland.
There were also new signatories to the ATT this week: Georgia, Namibia and Ukraine, bringing total signatures to 121.
Contributing to 50 Celebrating 50 will help us to promote the important message to governments that the ATT entering into force is a #chance2change the arms trade. We encourage everyone who has been a part of the campaign to add your voice.