International high-level dialogue forum

Shaping a globalised world

The Arms Trade Treaty:
Is the glass half full or half empty?

Herbert Wulf
May 2013; 4 pages


After several false starts, the text of a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, by the required two-thirds majority, on 2 April 2013. After the postponement last year and the rejection of the Treaty by Iran, North Korea and Syria at the end of March 2013, this was, according to some delegates and human rights organisations, a “historic moment”. But will the Treaty deliver on these high expectations? That now depends on the States Parties themselves, for 50 countries need to ratify the Treaty before it can enter into force.

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