Arms Trade Treaty: A Critical Analysis

Abstract

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), in force since 2014, aims to regulate the international trade of conventional weapons, estimated to be worth US$100billion a year, and seeks to reduce the illicit arms trade with the aim to reduce human suffering caused by illegal and irresponsible arms transfers. The paper uncovers the complexities of the decades-long negotiations process, and the politics at play involving such widely differing interests as non-governmental organisations, the arms importing and arms exporting countries. It discovers that the drafting of the treaty was heavily influenced and dominated by the interests of the powerful arms exporting countries. It resulted in a treaty that has many flaws and loopholes that can be exploited for political interests and many escape clauses whereby the arms exporters can continue to conduct arms trade as business as usual. The paper also looks at ATT from Pakistan’s perspective and discusses its significance for Pakistan.

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