Arms Trade Treaty
Every day, millions of people suffer from the consequences of armed violence. This violence is fuelled by unregulated global trade in arms and ammunition—enabling weapons to fall into the hands of dictators, criminals, drug traffickers and terrorists.
In June 2013, more than 60 states signed the groundbreaking Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). While Canada voted for the treaty in April 2013, it chose not to sign the treaty at the United Nations in June.
The Arms Trade Treaty is unprecedented. For the first time, there will be global controls on the arms trade, making it much harder for unscrupulous gun runners and human rights abusers to access weapons.
Until now, the unregulated arms trade has contributed, among other things, to considerable loss of life, widespread human rights abuse and gender-based violence, political instability, preventable conflicts, and corruption. In turn, all of these factors have undermined peace and peace-building processes, human security, poverty reduction initiatives, and prospects for sustainable socio-economic development.
What Canada Needs to Do
The number of states that have signed the treaty is 118 and counting, including the United States. By signing the ATT, Canada would join these countries in creating a safer world for the thousands of civilians living under the threat of violence.
For the treaty to become binding, at least 50 states will need to ratify the agreement in their own countries and for it to become truly global, many more countries will need to sign on. Canada's signing and ratification of the treaty would encourage other countries to live up to their international obligations to respect human rights and take action to stop gender-based violence.
The Arms Trade Treaty provides Canada with an unprecedented opportunity to reinforce the international architecture of conflict prevention, and indeed to bring peace and stability to the many communities now suffering from the effects of armed violence. For many countries the ATT will raise conventional weapons import and export standards, and it will have no appreciable impact on legal gun owners in Canada. The Canadian Control Arms Coalition, of which Oxfam is part, recommends that Canada sign the Arms Trade Treaty without hesitation.
- News Release: United States Signs Historic Arms Trade Treaty – Canada Yet to Sign On
- Canadian Control Arms Coalition: Submission to Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada on Canada and the Arms Trade Treaty, July 17, 2013
- Coalition canadienne Contrôlez les armes : Mémoire sur le Canada et le Traité sur le commerce des armes présenté à Affaires étrangères, Commerce et Développement Canada, 17 juillet 2013
Documents released prior to June 2013:
- Getting it Right: The pieces that matter for the Arms Trade Treaty (March 2013)
- UN Diplomats agree to conclude Arms Trade Treaty negotiations in 2013 (November 2012)
- Battle for an Arms Trade Treaty continues (August 2012)
- Final week of 2012 negotiations (August 2012)
- Cri du Coeur for an Arms Trade Treaty (July 2012)
- Week Three of the 2012 negotiations (July 2012)
- Week Two of 2012 negotiations (July 2012)
- A Short Film about Guns (July 2012)
- Nick Stern's recreated Banksy photos (July 2012)
- K'Naan's Twin Bullets video (July 2012)
- What Does a Gun Mean To You? video (June 2012)
- Video: Oxfam ambassador and actor Helen Mirren urge governments to deliver a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty in Lydia's story. (June 2012)
- Letter from Control Arms to Canada's Prime Minister (June 2012)
- Comments made to House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee by Canadian Control Arms coalition (June 2012)
- Stop a Bullet, Stop a War (May 2012)
- The Devil is in the Detail: The importance of comprehensive and legally binding criteria for arms transfers report (May 2012)
- A Chance to Rein in the Arms Trade (March 2012)
- Control Arms Nears Culmination (February 2012)