The Changes that Occurred after Enforcing the Arms Trade Treaty
The International arms trade is an old industry which comprises of the manufacture and sale of weapons and military technology. It is a commercial industry complete with engineering, production, research and development
and servicing of military equipment and facilities. Arms dealers produce weapons for civilians as well as the armed forces of various states. Some governmental departments also deal in the trade of arms and munitions. Now, for a long time, international arms trade has been unregulated, hence making the business prone to abuse. Indeed, smuggling of weapons has existed and continues to exist till today. Some industrialized countries
like the US produce arms both legally and illegally to be used by their militaries as well as its citizens for self-defense and hunting purposes.
It is not uncommon to find countries dealing in illegal small arms trade. This trade happens all over the world, especially in countries and regions that are plagued by political instability. In fact, as of 2006, it was estimated that as much as I billion US dollars' worth of small arms entered the black market annually (Kinsella, 2006). The consequences of having weapons and ammunition that are readily available cut across civil, political and socio-economic rights. When arms are transferred irresponsibly, there is an increased likelihood of destabilizing security in a region, fostering the abuse of human rights and curtailing economic development. South Sudan is a classic example of the severe effects of unregulated arms trade which has rendered the death of thousands of people and the displacement of millions. Gross human rights violations have been witnessed, with rape, ethnic killings, revenge attacks and targeting of children being the order of the day, and making people fear for their
Although developed countries may not experience the adverse impact of illegal arms trade on their economies because they are the major suppliers of these weapons and ammunition, the story is different for developing
countries. For instance, it is estimated that Africa lost approximately $284bn as a result of armed conflict between 1990 and 2006 (BasuRay, Butcher, & Murphy, 2012). Ironically, a consistent upward trend has been
noted in military expenditure in these same countries affected by conflict, while investment in essential services has been given the back seat. For these countries, the mere achievement of Sustainable Development Goals is
an elusive dream.
The UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was hence formulated to regulate international trade in conventional weapons. It came into force on 24th December 2014. The treaty has been ratified by 91 states, and a further 42 states have signed but not yet ratified it. The ATT aims to foster …