Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured, killed, or driven from their homes because of the poorly regulated trade in conventional weapons.
In some parts of the world, weapons are so easy to obtain that civilians face the same threats after a war is over as they do during it. The ICRC has been aware of the danger for some time now, and has put a lot of energy into pressing for an international treaty to regulate arms transfers. Earlier this year, those efforts were rewarded when the United Nations General Assembly adopted a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
The head of the ICRC Legal Division, Knut Doermann, travelled to London in April this year to share the organization’s perspective on both the ATT process and the challenges to its implementation. The treaty will not enter into force until 50 States have signed it, and Knut called for States to ratify it as soon as possible once it opens for signature on 3 June.
Photo: © Reuters / Thaier Al-Sudani