Good News: Canada has Acceded to the UN Arms Trade Treaty

After many years of hard campaigning, Canada has joined the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)!

Amnesty International’s efforts to establish an international treaty to regulate the arms trade date back to the early-1990s. The ATT entered into force on 24 December 2014, and so far 130 countries around the world have signed the treaty.

Here at Amnesty International Canada, we have been working on arms regulation for many years. For example, back in 2012, we exposed the paradox of bananas being subjected to more international trade regulations than weapons.

More recently, in December 2018 we submitted a joint brief and testified before the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade in its study of Bill C-47, which is the main legislation to implement Canada’s obligations under the ATT into Canadian Law. In those hearings, we testified about the importance of Canada joining this international treaty, as well as our key concerns and areas for improvement. In 2019, Amnesty International Canada engaged in the Government of Canada’s consultations to develop regulations that also form part of Canada’s domestic implementation of the ATT.

On 19 June 2019, Canada deposited its instrument of accession to the ATT.

It will become a state party on 17 September, 2019.

Despite this major milestone, Amnesty International’s efforts to better regulate the sale of weapons is ongoing.

We continue to oppose the transfer of Light Armoured Vehicles to Saudi Arabia in light of the war in Yemen (you can sign our e-action here), boosted by similar efforts from activists around the world.