Control Arms condemns Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine and expresses great concern at the humanitarian impact of this deteriorating security situation. We urge all parties to the conflict and those providing military support to respect international law and international humanitarian law, with a view to minimizing civilian harm.
In particular, Control Arms calls upon all states parties to uphold their legally binding commitments under the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and to uphold its primary object and purpose – to reduce human suffering.
The ATT requires states parties and signatories to prohibit transfers of conventional arms if they have knowledge that they would be used in attacks directed against civilian targets or used to commit or facilitate other war crimes.
Before authorizing any arms transfer, the ATT also requires states parties and signatories to assess the risk that exports of conventional arms could undermine peace and security, or be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law or human rights law. If there is a substantial risk of these negative consequences, the state party shall not authorize the export.
Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine has already resulted in violations of this type and severity. Full compliance with the ATT is especially critical during these challenging times.
Control Arms calls for renewed efforts and constant vigilance by all states who participate in the arms transfer cycle – export, transit and transshipment, import and brokering – to assess the risks and ensure that no arms transfers exacerbate civilian harm in this conflict.