Progress toward entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty has continued through the month of March, with two Balkan States leading the way. This month, both the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania both deposited their respective instruments of ratification at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Both countries were supportive of a strong Arms Trade Treaty throughout the negotiation process and Albania was among the first to sign the Treaty on 3 June, 2012, the first day the landmark agreement opened for signature. Macedonia followed soon after by adding their signature on 25 September 2013.

The Civil – Center for Freedom, a member of Control Arms, has been a leading civil society advocate of the Arms Trade Treaty in Macedonia. Xhabir Deralla, President of the organization called Macedonia’s ratification “a great legal step towards arms control in the country and internationally.” He added:

“Now, the real challenge lays ahead, which is to make, adopt and implement proper laws and regulations in support of this new legislative measure. It remains to prompt the government and the parliament in the Republic of Macedonia to make these steps in a transparent manner and include relevant civil society organizations in the country in order to strengthen the struggle against armed violence, gun culture and arms proliferation in the country and the region.”

With the one year anniversary of the Arms Trade Treaty’s adoption approaching, it is apparent that momentum toward entry into force is building. Control Arms encourages all countries to follow direction set by Macedonia, Albania, and other ratifying countries and take action as soon as possible.

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