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Defence industries

Arms Trade Treaty

Background to the Treaty

UN Resolution 61/89 [105 KB], adopted in 2006, initiated the process for developing a treaty to regulate the international trade in conventional weapons, the so-called Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The purpose of the ATT is to contribute to international and regional peace, security and stability by regulating the international trade in conventional arms and eradicating the illicit arms trade. Intensive preparatory work was carried out during 2007 and 2009, followed by a First United Nations Conference on the ATT held in New York from 2 to 27 July 2012. The Treaty was finally adopted by qualified majority on 2 April 2013 after a second UN Conference, held in March 2013.

The Treaty has been opened for signature to States who are willing to sign and most Member States did at the solemn Ceremony, which was held at the UN premises on 3 June 2013.

Given that certain elements of the ATT concerns matters falling under EU exclusive competence, Member States needed an authorization by the Council, based on a proposal of the Commission, to sign and to ratify the Treaty [64 KB].

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