The Arms Trade Treaty and military equipment

The case for a comprehensive scope

As part of a coalition of NGOs from around the world Saferworld has long advocated for the international negotiation of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). An ATT would establish global standards on arms transfers and help prevent weapons from being used to fuel conflict, poverty and human rights abuses.

The range or ‘scope’ of equipment that an ATT will cover is a critical issue. Beyond obvious items such as machine guns, there is a whole range of equipment that, if traded irresponsibly, may fuel conflict or facilitate human rights abuses.

Some countries want the ATT to be limited to a small group of equipment. This report looks in detail at what kind of equipment should be covered by an ATT and argues for a ‘comprehensive approach’, to ensure that an ATT most effectively prevents international arms transfers from fuelling violent conflict.