Opening of the Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (New York, March 18 to 28, 2013)



The Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty began on March 18 at the UN Headquarters in New York. This was a major event for the international community in the area of arms control. Representatives from international and regional organizations and civil society took part in the deliberations. This conference followed the conference held in July 2012, which did not reach a successful conclusion.

France, whose delegation was led by our representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, was fully involved in this process. Its goal was to achieve a legally binding instrument that will involve the major stakeholders in the arms trade and make it possible to regulate the legal trade in conventional weapons and thereby combat the illegal trafficking of these weapons.

The draft treaty – which covers the seven categories of the UN Register on Conventional Arms as well as small arms and light weapons, ammunition, parts and components – aimed to establish a certain number of criteria by which states will assess arms transfer applications: a ban on transfers likely to contribute to war crimes, acts of genocide or violations of international commitments and Security Council embargos; consideration of risks associated with violations of human rights or international humanitarian law; consideration of the risk of corruption in transactions and the risk of diversion into the illicit market.