What should the Arms Trade Treaty look like?
Oxfam believes an Arms Trade Treaty must hold governments accountable. It must be based on states’ existing legal obligations to international humanitarianlaw and UN Charters.
Human rights and humanitarian law
Armed violence impinges on citizens’ basic human rights to security, food, education, and medical care, among others. An Arms Trade Treaty must ensure no transfer is permitted when there is substantial risk the arms will be used to commit serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
Illegal arms transfers violate UN charter obligations to maintain and strengthen international peace and security, and to achieve international cooperation in problem-solving. An Arms Trade Treaty must ensure no transfer is permitted when there is a clear risk the arms will be used to violate the UN Charter.
All weapons, transfers and transactions
The treaty must be all-inclusive. It must include all weapons, all transfers, and all transactions.
Armed violence is not caused by only those weapons in the hands of unlawful groups. An Arms Trade Treaty must include all military, security, and police arms, related equipment and ammunition, and training.
Arms do not only enter borders via direct sales. An Arms Trade Treaty must control the import, export, and re-export of weapons, in addition to temporary transfer and transshipments, loans, gifts, and aid. It must also control those who provide training, transport, storage, and finance.
The treaty must be workable and enforceable. It must provide guidelines for full, clear implementation.
Transparency and cooperation
Arms regulations can’t be made or implemented behind closed doors. An Arms Trade Treaty must be transparent and must include a comprehensive plan for international cooperation and reporting.
Compliance and accountability
Arms agreements must be enforceable. An Arms Trade Treaty must have a mechanism for monitoring compliance, and must include provisions for dispute settlement and sanctions.