Towards an Arms Trade Treaty
International humanitarian law 
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Qualification of armed conflicts 
Application of international law to non-state actors 
Application of humanitarian and human rights law to international organisations 
Derogation from human rights treaties in situations of emergency 
Interaction between humanitarian law and human rights in armed conflicts 
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Key documents 
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Towards an Arms Trade Treaty
First Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
RULAC View - August 2012
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RULAC View - June 2012
Towards an Arms Trade Treaty

In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly requested the UN Secretary-General to establish a group of governmental experts to look into “the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for a comprehensive, legally binding instrument establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms”.  

The report of that group, concluded in 2008, prompted the General Assembly to start discussions focused on a possible arms trade treaty, open to all UN Member States. At the end of October 2009, after years of discussions and debates, the vast majority of governments – 153 in total – agreed on a timetable to establish a "strong and robust" Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with the "highest common standards" to control international transfers of conventional arms.  There is currently no global treaty on the conventional arms trade. Preparatory committee meetings are foreseen from 2010 to 2012, leading to a diplomatic conference in 2012 which could adopt an ATT.  

The RULAC Project followed the preparatory discussions and negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty. A daily blog from the Diplomatic Conference is available at: The Conference closed on 27 July 2012 without agreement on a treaty.

List of Documents 


UN General Assembly Res. 64/48 (2009) The Arms Trade Treaty
PrepCom - Draft Decision on the modalities of attendance of NGOs (12.07.2010)
Statement of the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (12.07.2010)
Chairman's Draft Principles (14.07.2010)
Russian Federation: Brokering (19.07.2010)
Chairman's draft Paper (22.07.2010)
Facilitator's sum on parameters (22.07.2010)
Statement of Norway (12.07.2010)
Facilitator's sum on implementation and application (22.07.2010)
Facilitator's Sum for Scope (22.07.2010)
Statement of Switzerland (12.07.2010)
Informal discussions on the ATT Preparatory Committee (7 July 2010)
Chairman's Draft Elements (14.07.2010)
EU Cooperation and Assistance (22.07.2010)
Mexico statement (jointly with Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay) (21.07.2010)
Boston Symposium Summary Report (October 2010)
Second PrepCom Chair draft papers
Chairman's draft paper (03.03.2011)
Chairman's Draft Implementation (11.07.2011)
Chairman's Draft ATT (14.07.2011)
President's Discussion Paper of 3 July 2012
Elements of provision on Scope (13.07.2012)
Critera/Parameters ChairmanPaper (16 July 20129
Comprehensive Draft Arms Trade Treaty of 26 July 2012
Wednesday, 03 June 2020
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