Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty (or ATT as it is widely known) establishes common global standards for the international trade in conventional weapons.  It encourages States Parties to trade conventional arms responsibly and transparently, thereby helping to deter their diversion to the illicit market.

The major driving force behind the negotiation of the ATT was concern over violations of international humanitarian law and human rights that occurred in various conflicts around the globe.  There was also concern that the unregulated availability of weapons was a major contributing factor to civilian suffering during and after armed conflicts.

The ATT text adopted by the United Nations General Assembly was the product of a Final Arms Trade Treaty Conference chaired by Australia’s then Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Mr Peter Woolcott.  The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty on 2 April 2013.  The treaty entered into force on 24 December 2014.

Australia signed the Arms Trade Treaty at New York on 3 June 2013 and ratified it on 3 June 2014.

More information on the ATT, including on the number of States Parties, ratifications and signatories can be found at the links below:

Last Updated: 23 February 2018