Multiple states are signing and ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) this week before it enters into force on 24 December. There are now 128 signatories and 61 ratifications.

Saint Kitts and Nevis, followed by Liechtenstein deposited their instruments of ratification at the UN last week. On Wednesday 17th, Poland became the 58th country to ratify. Ambassador Bogusław Winid deposited the instrument on behalf of his country stating:

“We are proud that Poland is among the co-founders of the ATT and that its provisions will become binding for us on 24 December. Poland hopes that the Treaty will help prevent serious violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law standards related to the reduction of suffering of the civilians in armed conflict. We hope that ATT will play an important role in the fight against international terrorism and organized crime.”

Upon depositing Lithuania’s instrument of ratification on Thursday, December 17th, Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė said:

“It is our firm belief that transparency in arms trade is indispensable if we are to achieve the key purpose of the ATT – reducing human suffering. We made this our priority during the negotiations and will continue to strongly advocate for shinning more light on arms trade, in particular, through public reporting and supporting civilian society led monitoring.”

The Netherlands deposited on Thursday 18 December. Control Arms members there took the opportunity to congratulate their government and remind them that “words are not enough, now is time for action.”

Andorra, Israel, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, and Zimbabwe are among the newest signatories to the ATT. Once the Treaty enters into force it will no longer be possible for governments to sign and instead they will be required to accede, a two-step process. The Treaty’s entry into force is a significant milestone. Its provisions will now become legally binding. Occurring just eighteen months after it opened for signature means that the ATT is one of the fastest multilateral arms agreements to enter into force. Control Arms congratulates all governments who have signed and ratified the Treaty so far and looks forward to welcoming others.

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