The entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty in December 2014 is a significant achievement for the international community. The ATT is the first legally-binding agreement to govern the global trade in conventional arms, from battle tanks and combat aircraft to missiles and small arms and light weapons. It demonstrates the vital contribution which the UN can make towards international peace and security.
A comprehensive and robust ATT had been a foreign policy priority for Ireland. We are proud to have been among the first States to sign the Treaty on 3 June 2013, and that our ratification of the Treaty on 2 April 2014 contributed to bringing the Treaty into force later that year.
The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) prohibits the use of specific weapons that are considered to cause unnecessary suffering or that indiscriminately affect both civilians and military personnel. It is for this reason that Ireland signed the Convention in 1981, on the day that it opened for signature. Ireland has played an active role in the further development of the Convention and its annexed Protocols, including work on amendment and implementation, as well as the negotiation in 2003 of a new Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (Protocol V).