April 2nd marked the first anniversary of the adoption of the much celebrated Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the world’s first treaty to establish common standards of international trading in conventional weapons and which in turn aims to ‘ease the suffering caused by irresponsible transfers of conventional weapons and munitions’. But with the continued irresponsible arms trading and an overall rise in the global arms trade, it seems that some states have yet to put the ideals of the ATT into practice.
2012 has been hailed as a potential landmark year in the push for greater regulation of the global trade in conventional arms. After more than a decade of advocacy to this end, negotiations took place throughout July towards the world’s first Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is intended to establish the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional weapons. However, although significant progress was made during the month of intense negotiations, the ATT is not yet open for signature. In this article, Zoë Pelter explores what role a potential treaty – if reopened for further negotiation – could play in a move towards sustainable security.