The widespread availability of weapons has been a main concern for WILPF since our origin. Today no legally-binding international standards exist for the export and import of conventional weapons. The weapons trade industry is a lucrative and fast-growing business that benefits from this lack of international regulations and transparency. Since 2006, we have been working towards a strong international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
Our goal is to establish an international tool that will prevent the transfer of arms when there is a possibility that these weapons might be used to violate international humanitarian law, human rights or undermine socioeconomic development.
WILPF’s work on the ATT
As with all weapons-related issues, there is a gender dimension to the trade since women are often disproportionately affected by armed gender-based violence.
In advance of the ATT negotiations in July 2012, we teamed up with Amnesty International, the International Action Network Against Small Arms (IANSA), Oxfam International, Global Action to Prevent War, and Religions for Peace to advocate for the inclusion of specific criteria in the ATT, which should prevent arms export in cases where armed gender-based violence is likely to occur.
The second negotiating conference on the ATT will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York from 18–28 March 2013. On this page, you can find background material, position papers and analyses, alongside suggestions for what you can do to ensure that Arms Trade never facilitates gender-based violence.
Reaching Critical Will, WILPF’s disarmament programme, will monitor the negotiation conference and provide analyses and advocacy. As with the four preparatory committees and the first negotiating conference, RCW will be posting statements and documents online and will coordinate, edit, and publish a daily newsletter, the ATT Monitor. You can subscribeto receive the ATT Monitor each day during the negotiations.