Historical archive

UN adopts new international arms trade treaty

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“Norway is relieved and pleased that the arms trade treaty has finally been approved,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide. After a number of years of difficult negotiations, the UN General Assembly have adopted, for the first time ever, an international arms trade treaty aimed at regulating the trade in conventional weapons.

“Norway is relieved and pleased that the arms trade treaty has finally been approved,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide. After a number of years of difficult negotiations, the UN General Assembly today adopted, for the first time ever, an international arms trade treaty aimed at regulating the trade in conventional weapons.   

“All in all, this is a treaty that will help to reduce the human suffering caused by the irresponsible and illegal trade in weapons. It is an important milestone for the UN in its efforts relating to arms control,” Mr Eide said. 

The new treaty covers a wide range of conventional weapons, including ammunition and components of conventional weapons. This has been an important requirement for Norway, but it has been a controversial issue in negotiations because several countries opposed the inclusion of subject areas such as ammunition in the treaty. 

“The treaty also includes important prohibitions and criteria relating to export licences, violations of international humanitarian law, international human rights, organised crime and terrorism in importing states,” Mr Eide said. 

The arms trade treaty was adopted by a large majority in the General Assembly, with 154 states voting to adopt the treaty, 23 abstaining, and just three countries, Iran, North Korea and Syria, voting against. 

The international arms trade treaty will enter into force after 50 states have ratified it, and there can be future amendments.

“This represents an important new start for efforts to strengthen international norms and rules for the trade in weapons,” Mr Eide commented.