Governments urged to ratify UN Arms Trade Treaty

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A UN peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) examines AK-47 magazines stored in a warehouse in Beni after they have been collected in the demobilization process in Matembo, North Kivu. UN Photo/Martine Perret

Governments around the world have been urged to ratify the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that enters into force on 24 December.

The appeal has come from a group of UN independent human rights experts who are also calling for an end to the trade in weapons.

So far, only 60 countries have ratified the treaty out of 130 that have signed it.

It's the first legally-binding multilateral agreement that prohibits states from exporting conventional weapons to countries when they know those weapons will be used for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

The experts say the world needs not only to stop the trade in, but also the profit-driven production of all arms.

They point out that once weapons have been produced, there is a strong incentive to make sure they are used somewhere in the world, so as to continue producing them.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has also hailed the imminent entry into force of the UN Arms Trade Treaty.

He says it is a landmark step in curbing the human rights violations that stem from the poorly regulated international trade in conventional weapons.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″

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