Guatemala became the 87th States Party to the ATT, depositing its ratification instrument to the United Nations in New York on July 12, 2016.

Control Arms welcomes the ratification of Guatemala, making it the 22nd States Party from Latin America & the Caribbean, and joining a growing group of states from the region and worldwide, committed to regulating the dangerous global arms trade and working towards a more peaceful and secure world.

It is an honor for me to deposit the instrument of ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty on behalf of the Government of Guatemala. This Treaty, the first that seeks to regulate the arms trade, is a milestone in the history of international law and of great importance to my country. Small arms and light weapons are the real weapons of mass destruction: they claim the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year in the world, and their illicit trade fuels the armed violence and insecurity that beset our region”, said Ambassador Carlos Raúl Morales, Minister of Foreign Affairs during the ceremony at the UN on Tuesday. He concluded with “we know that our work does not end here, but rather now is when the real work begins, to ensure the effective implementation of the Treaty.”

Guatemala has been a vocal and progressive supporter of the Treaty, and was among the strongest advocates for the establishment of a robust ATT during the course of its negotiation phase. It also played an important leadership role in promoting the treaty among other countries in the region, which is why their constructive inputs moving forward as a States Party are very promising. Furthermore, it is a great example of the way vibrant civil society partners on the ground can play an instrumental role at the national level towards the ratification and implementation of the treaty. Alex Galvez from the Transitions Foundation stated “As survivors and members of IANSA and Control Arms, Transitions Foundation worked hard alongside our Guatemalan colleagues to achieve ratification. Now it is time for the Guatemalan State to move swiftly on implementation, to ensure that the ATT makes a real difference in our country.”

The ratification comes amidst the currently ongoing High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, also at the UNHQ in New York. The successful implementation of the ATT and its role in combating the illicit trafficking of arms, increasing security levels in the region and reducing the number of victims of armed violence, will be a fundamental instrument towards both achieving and monitoring development. Therefore ratification can hopefully contribute towards achieving some of the goals of the 2030 sustainable development agenda.

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