Arms Trade Treaty

To achieve a core purpose of “reducing human suffering,” the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) sets common global standards for the national control of shipments of conventional weapons across international borders.

On September 17, 2019, Canada became the 105th state party to the global ATT. Project Ploughshares was part of the civil-society push to create this treaty, and has promoted it since.

Project Ploughshares, in partnership with other NGOs, has actively promoted an Arms Trade Treaty since the mid-1990s.

Ploughshares is a member of the Steering Board of the Control Arms Coalition, a group of NGOs promoting the ATT.

Canadian Military Production

Project Ploughshares monitors and reports on Canadian military production and exports.

In support of this work, we maintain the Canadian Military Industry Database which compiles publicly available records of military contracts awarded to Canadian companies as well as annual government records of arms exports to overseas countries.

Reports from the database are made available to a range of researchers and organizations, including the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) for its annual compilation of the world’s largest arms industries.

The database is not available online. Requests for database information should be directed to:
Kelsey Gallagher
+1 519 888-6541 

Estimates of charges for database searches or reports will be provided on inquiry.

Recent Publications on the Arms Trade Treaty

Restoring Canada’s arms control and disarmament credentials

January 27, 2022

More than a year and a half after Canada’s unsuccessful run for a seat on the UN Security Council, shortcomings in Ottawa’s arms control and disarmament agenda remain prominent. As the international community continues to face multiple, overlapping security challenges at the start of 2022, the federal Cabinet installed last October has a fresh opportunity to take stock of Canada’s foreign policy priorities.

Open Letter to the Prime Minister: Ongoing Weapons Exports to Saudi Arabia

December 13, 2021

The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian labour, arms controls, antiwar, human rights, international security, and other civil society organizations, are writing to reiterate our continued opposition to your government’s issuance of arms exports permits for weapons destined to Saudi Arabia. We write today adding to the letters of March 2019, August 2019, April 2020 and September 2020 in which several of our organizations raised concerns about the serious ethical, legal, human rights and humanitarian implications of Canada’s ongoing transfer of weapons to Saudi Arabia. We regret that, to date, we have received no response to these concerns from you or the relevant Cabinet ministers on the matter. Critically, we regret that Canada finds itself in violation of its international arms control agreements.

The risk of diversion in the arms transfer cycle: 3 factors to consider

December 9, 2021

Under the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), special care must be taken to ensure that arms exports are not diverted from their intended use or user. Yet intentional and unintentional instances of diversion remain common and constitute a key challenge to the ATT regime.

Read More Publications About the Arms Trade Treaty
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