For immediate release
Project Ploughshares is celebrating the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty at the UN in New York on April 2.
The 193-nation UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved this first and only treaty on regulating the trade in conventional arms ranging from light weapons to jet fighters and warships. One hundred fifty-five votes were cast in favour of the treaty, three against, with 22 abstentions.
Ploughshares Senior Program Officer Kenneth Epps was at the negotiations in New York for the final two-week negotiating session that ended on March 28.
As well as representing Ploughshares, Epps provided leadership in New York during the conference in his capacity as Co-Chair of the international civil society coalition Control Arms.
Iran, Syria and North Korea prevented the treaty from reaching the consensus required for adoption under the rules of the negotiating conference. Turning to a General Assembly vote to adopt it by a simple majority was a fallback position for an overwhelming number of UN member states that were frustrated by a strict interpretation of consensus as unanimity.
After a celebratory pause, Ploughshares will be back to work to ensure that the ATT genuinely contributes to relieving human misery in the world by restricting the illegal and irresponsible movement of arms across borders.
Canada voted with the vast majority of states to pass the ATT. We encourage Canada to be one of the first to sign the treaty when it opens for signature on June 3. The treaty will enter into force 90 days after the 50th country signs and ratifies it.
For further information contact:
519 888-6541 x7701
John Siebert, Executive Director
519 888-6541 x7710