UN Arms Trade Treaty Becomes International Law

walking away from gunsTomorrow, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will come into force, thereby becoming binding international law for all countries that ratified it. The ATT is the first legally binding international treaty that controls the global trade of conventional arms by prohibiting the transfer of weapons that may be used to commit atrocities and other serious human rights violations.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein hailed the imminent entry into force of the UN Arms Trade Treaty as a “landmark step in curbing the human rights violations that stem from the poorly regulated international trade in conventional weapons.“ “The unregulated arms trade is one of the main drivers of armed conflict and violence, contributing and facilitating the commission of human rights and humanitarian law violations.”

The ATT contains robust provisions preventing the transfer of conventional arms, ammunitions and parts and components to other countries when it is known that these arms or items would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or serious violations of international human rights law.

In addition, states are obliged to assess if there is an overriding risk that a proposed arms export to another country will be used for or contribute to serious violations of international law, in which case they are prohibited from selling these arms. Continue reading

Event: International Weapons Law Course

Geneva AcademyDate: 4-29 August 2014

Venue: Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Villa Moynier – Rue de Lausanne 120B – CP 67 – 1211 Geneva 21 – Switzerland

Aim and Objectives of the Training:

The aim of the course is to instil participants with a detailed understanding of international weapons law: police use of force, use of weapons as a means or method of warfare, disarmament, and small arms control.

Objectives:

  • Acquire detailed knowledge and understanding of international legal regimes governing weapons.
  • Be able to apply the law to use of force by police, military, private security companies, and armed non-state actors.
  • Understand the characteristics and effects of different weapons from a handgun up to a nuclear weapon.

Lecturers:

The training course is taught by members of academia and senior professionals from international organisations and NGOs. In addition to staff from the Geneva Academy, former police officers, and experts on robotics, biological and chemical weapons, and others will provide the tuition.

If you wish to apply, click here.