Ambassador Geir Pedersen, the Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, deposited Norway’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) instrument of ratification at UN headquarters today, making the northern European nation the eleventh country to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty.

Control Arms had the opportunity to sit down with Ambassador Pedersen moments before the ratification took place. In the interview, the Ambassador spoke about the importance of the ATT. “We see in the Central African Republic, in South Sudan, in Mali, and in other places how important it is that… we have a regime in place that will hinder the export of weapons to places where there is a threat not only of human rights violations, but possible genocide, ” Pedersen said.

Norway has been heralded as a progressive champion of the historic Treaty since negotiations began at the First Preparatory Committee meeting at the United Nations in 2010. From the outset, Norway argued that any potential treaty should be comprehensive and maintain human rights and humanitarian law as the fundamentals for arms transfer decisions. Their ratification acts as a further testament to their commitment to lead by example for the multilateral agreement that has the potential to save countless lives through international arms trade controls.

For more facts on the arms trade and the ATT: click here.

Control Arms has had an active presence in Norway since the launch of the campaign. Siri Luthen, Senior Adviser at Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment (ForUM), said “as one of the countries that has been the driving force behind ATT, Norway must continue its important work and take an active role in efforts to ratify and implement the agreement. Norway must support the agreement in international forums and initiate strict interpretations of the text.”

Hilde Wallacher of Norwegian Church Aid also added that “If the treaty is to make a real difference it is crucial that countries like Norway take a proactive role in the work to ratify and implement it… so that human lives and human dignity trump the wishes of the arms industry for more export.”

With Norway’s action, the Arms Trade Treaty is one step closer to achieving the necessary ratifications for entry into force. Control Arms welcomes the decision and encourages all countries to join Norway in ratifying the ATT as soon as possible.

The Arms Trade Treaty was agreed on in 2013 and is the first global attempt to regulate the international trade of weapons and keep them out of the hands of human rights abusers, war criminals, and other dangerous users. To view the full text of the ATT, click here.

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