The Road Forward for the Arms Trade Treaty: A Civil Society Practitioner Commentary

Civil society – particularly the Control Arms coalition – played a pivotal role in imagining and campaigning for the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the first comprehensive global regulations on the trade and transfer in conventional weapons. In its signing statement on 3 June 2013, Australia said it looked forward to ‘continuing to work closely with … civil society and to building on our commitment today to the effective implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (Kelly, 2013).’ Indeed, many states have publically called for civil society to be engaged in ATT implementation process, particularly its monitoring. As we look forward to the ATT's entry into force, civil society organizations are advocating for universalization, broad interpretation and application and rigorous implementation. After all, the treaty will remain merely words on a page if it is not operationalized into policies, procedures and practices.