The entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on 24 December 2014 is seen as a sign of hope that irresponsible transfers of conventional arms will at last begin to be eradicated. Declarations of commitment by states around the world to implement the ATT have snowballed over the past year since the UN General Assembly voted decisively on 2 April 2013 to adopt the treaty.
In this IPIS Insight, the author outlines key developments in the making of the Arms Trade Treaty. He argues that the ATT represents a paradigm shift in addressing the way that international law on arms transfers because for the first time in history universal human rights obligations have been codified alongside other international standards to form binding rules to regulate conventional arms transfers.
Nevertheless, as the author explains, the ATT is not a panacea. Also, it is outlined why it is significant for its future potential that the inception of the treaty in its modern form arose from civil society, which continues as an active partner with champion states in developing the treaty regime.
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