Saferworld’s contribution to achieving the Arms Trade Treaty – 20 years of work
On 2 April 2013 a large majority of states voted in favour of United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/234B to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The agreement of a global instrument like the ATT is a goal that Saferworld has been working for since the 1990s, and the adoption of the Treaty is a major marker along the way to achieving the longer-term change Saferworld aspires to: to reduce violent conflict by preventing the irresponsible international transfer of arms.
In June 2013 the ATT opened for signature; some 18 months later, on 24 December 2014, with the 50th state ratification, the Treaty entered into force, and became international law.
The existence of an ATT in itself is a remarkable success for Saferworld and the coalition of non-governmental organisations in which Saferworld played a central part. This is an account of how a small organisation can achieve big results at the global policy level, using limited financial and technical resources. This learning paper shows that Saferworld’s commitment to the long haul, its willingness to work with and lead with others, including governments, and its in-depth technical expertise in the subject matter are crucial elements in this policy success and represent exceptional value for money. Since the Treaty was adopted, Saferworld has been working on implementation – and is still in it for the long haul.
“Saferworld is recognised by many as having developed effective relations with key stakeholders involved in the [arms trade] treaty negotiations and for the quality of the dialogue they promoted.”Saferworld