UNITED NATIONS, December 23 (Sputnik) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday praised the global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a day before it comes into effect, and urged more countries to join the effort to curb weapons supplies for human rights violators, a UN statement said.
The arms accord is due to come into force on Christmas Eve. The UN chief said the treaty "marks the opening of a new chapter in our collective efforts to bring responsibility, accountability and transparency to the global arms trade", according to the statement.
The ATT was adopted on April 2, 2013 by the UN General Assembly. By its terms, the treaty comes into force 90 days after the 50th country ratified it on September 23, 2014. A total of 60 nations have ratified the agreement so far, while 130 have signed it, indicating that they intended to ratify. These include the United States, China and Russia – three of the largest arms exporters.
The ATT includes a package of laws aimed at stopping the flow of arms to countries participating in severe human rights violations, such as war crimes and genocide.
Ban said the treaty was "testimony to the commitment of States, international organizations and civil society to stop irresponsible arms transfers," stressing the ultimate goal was to reduce human suffering by preventing "the transfer or diversion of weapons to areas afflicted by armed conflict and violence and to warlords, human rights abusers, terrorists and criminal organizations."
The UN secretary-general also emphasized that it was critical that more countries join the arms treaty, specifically all major arms exporters and importers. As of now, it has been ratified by five of ten top arms sellers – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.