This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
After more than 10 years of campaigning and more than 7 years of negotiations, the UK ratifies the Arms Trade Treaty today.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
I am delighted to have overseen the successful conclusion of negotiations and last week to have signed the agreement on behalf of the UK.
The Arms Trade Treaty is the result of outstanding collaboration between the government, civil society and industry all working together for a Treaty that will save lives, and I am proud of the part the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has played.
This Treaty will help make the world safer, by placing human rights and international humanitarian law at the heart of decisions about the arms trade. For the first time, countries have agreed international rules governing everything from small arms to warships. If these rules are implemented globally and effectively, they have the power to stop the arms from reaching terrorists and criminals, and fuelling conflict and instability around the world.
Our work does not stop here. We urge other countries - particularly the largest arms exporters - to ratify the Treaty and ensure it enters into force as quickly as possible. We will continue to support other nations in their plans to implement the Treaty, and Mexico’s efforts to plan the first Conference of States Parties.