The European Parliament voted today in favour of a Europe-wide ratification of the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). It will recommend the 28 EU Member States ratify the treaty aimed at regulating the arms trade, a €20 billion (£16.5bn) industry.
Scottish Labour MEP and author of the parliamentary report, David Martin, said:
"The unregulated trade in arms has had a devastating effect on the peace, security and development of some of the world's most vulnerable countries.
"The purpose of the ATT is to bring under control the export of arms to third countries, particularly trying to stop arms going to areas where there is a possibility for genocide or abuse of human rights. It is time for much greater transparency and responsibility in this sector.
"The adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty is an achievement. But it will only be a success if it makes a difference on the ground to people suffering in armed conflicts.
"We need 50 countries in the world to ratify the Convention before it can come into force; so now the European Parliament calls on the 28 EU member states to ratify the ATT as soon as possible and make it operational.
"The EU now has an important responsibility to lead the global ratification of this Treaty and use our collective influence to engage with key countries for its implementation."
1. On 2 April 2013 the UN General Assembly adopted the first-ever international Treaty regulating the export, import and transfer of conventional arms ranging from small arms and light weapons to tanks and missiles. Unlike weapons of mass destruction, trade in conventional weapons has not been subject to any legally binding global instrument.