SRSG welcomes historic adoption of Arms Trade Treaty

New York, 4 April 2013 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, welcomed the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). "This new treaty constitutes a crucial piece in the international normative framework for the protection of children from violence and for the prevention of the detrimental impact of armed violence on children's well being".
Adopted on April 2, the arms treaty regulates international trade in conventional weapons and makes it harder for human rights abusers, criminal offenders and arms traffickers to obtain weapons. The treaty requires countries to assess the risks that weapons may pose to the commission of serious acts of gender-based violence and of violence against children, prior to authorizing arms exports.
“Easy access to arms, whether in organized or casual crime, or in the context of armed violence, can have a profound impact on the enjoyment of children’s rights, including their right to grow up in a safe and violent free environment", said Ms. Santos Pais. "With this new and historic treaty, accountability for human rights is recognized as an intrinsic part of the international arms trade. Through its ratification, Governments can express a solemn commitment to protect children from the consequences of the unchecked proliferation of arms. I call for the swift ratification of this historic instrument.”