Ask your government to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

Since 1998, Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN) has been actively involved in advocating for a robust Arms Trade Treaty  at the United Nations (UN). 


Now that the ATT has been approved and already signed by more than 70 countries, 50 states needs to ratify it for the ATT to come into force. AEFJN invites all members and people of good will to ask their government to initiate or continue the process of ratification of the ATT at their national parliament and to present the document for ratification at the UN. 


Please write a letter (click here for a model letter) to your Minister of Foreign Affairs asking him/her to introduce the necessary legislation to the Parliament in order to be able to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty without delay so as to facilitate the regulation of sales of conventional weapons.



Click here to get the list of signatory countries. If your country has not signed the ATT, ask your government to sign it and to move towards ratification.


As the ATT seeks to ensure greater discipline in the sale of arms around the globe, it is very important that this treaty comes into force as soon as possible so that it can be effectively enforced to create a better and a safer world.


The ATT will be a major step towards curbing needless conflicts that arise in Africa and elsewhere as a result of (the) indiscriminate sale of deadly weapons of war. But progress in curbing the arms trade will also depend on the countries that sign on to the treaty, and how strictly and rigorously it is enforced worldwide after it comes into force.


There is a simple video on the ATT at 


The way for the ATT to become international law

Signature does not legally bind the signatory State or require it to begin to implement the provisions of the Treaty. Only after ratification, acceptance or approval[1] does a State become a party to the Treaty. Only Heads of State, Heads of Government or Ministers for Foreign Affairs (or someone with written authorisation from one of these) are empowered to sign multilateral treaties on behalf of States.


To become party to the Arms Trade Treaty, a State must formally declare its consent to be bound by the Treaty. This involves two steps: action by the concerned State at national level, and the notification to the UN of consent to be bound.


Though some States can ratify treaties immediately, most States must follow domestic procedures for becoming party to treaties. This usually requires discussion within the country and action by its parliament and/or its executive.


The Arms Trade Treaty enters into force (becomes international law) 90 days after 50 States have ratified (accepted or approved) it.


The Arms Trade Treaty requires that States parties take measures to implement its provisions and designate competent national authorities in order to have an effective and transparent national control system. This includes taking appropriate measures to enforce national laws and regulations that implement the provisions of the Treaty.


The new treaty will require nations that ratify it to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and components and to regulate arms brokers.


[1] For constitutional reasons, certain States use the terms ‘acceptance’ or ‘approval’ to describe their adherence to multilateral treaties.

Letter to ask the ratification of the ATT

application/msword 1308-Letter-asking-ratification-ATT-eng.doc (127.0 KiB)

130703 List of countries that have signed and ratified the ATT

application/msword 130703-List-countries-signed-and-ratified-ATT.doc (174.5 KiB)

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