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