Controlling Small Arms and Light Weapons Proliferation: The Potential of the Arms Trade Treaty

| July 24, 2012 | 0 Comments






Nathan A. Sears

Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University


This article examines the potential of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to strengthen international control over global small arms and light weapons (SALW) proliferation. Research was based primarily on existing scholarly work on SALW control, the ATT, and arms control generally, as well as on observations of the third and fourth sessions of the ATT Preparatory Committee. The first section of this article analyzes the value of the ATT to strengthen international SALW control, looking at the development of SALW control as a global security initiative, the existing system of SALW control, its weaknesses, and how the ATT could strengthen it. The second section examines the challenges and opportunities that face the ATT with respect to negotiations, implementation, monitoring and verification, and compliance. The article argues that the ATT, while not a perfect instrument of SALW control, presents significant opportunities to increase transparency and promote a “responsible arms trade,” thereby reducing the negative effects of SALW proliferation on human suffering, peace, security, and sustainable development. Moreover, the partnership that has developed between small- and medium-power states and civil society can help to address the challenges that the ATT faces from weak state capacities and control-averse states…..



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Category: Diplomatica

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