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Appendix 10C. Towards an arms trade treaty?


I. Introduction

II. The breakdown of the small arms and light weapons process

III. Evolution of the arms trade treaty initiative

IV. Key issues for an arms trade treaty

V. Conclusions



Read the full appendix [PDF].


In December 2006, 153 governments voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution towards creation of an international arms trade treaty; the USA was the only country that voted against. At the July 2006 UN Small Arms Review Conference the USA also opposed expansion of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons. Both processes have their origins in civil society campaigns that were later taken up by governments.


Despite the diverse challenges that the arms trade treaty initiative faces, it remains the most significant global development in conventional arms transfer controls since the end of the cold war.


Dr Paul Holtom (UK) is a Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Project.


Siemon T. Wezeman (Netherlands) is Leader of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Project.

Paul Holtom and Siemon T. Wezeman