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Agreement to produce an Arms Trade Treaty

Friday 30 October was a historic day: the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, agreed on a clear schedule for negotiating an Arms Trade Treaty, to control the transfer of conventional, small, light and heavy weapons. July 2012 is the date scheduled for the conference to approve the treaty. A key factor was the United States, which has traditionally been opposed, voting in favour, with other 152 countries. However, other major exporters and importers such as Russia and China were part of the group of 19 countries that abstained. Zimbabwe voted against.

There is still a long time to wait and numerous large hurdles to be overcome, in which procedural rules, and those relating to voting systems in particular, will be determining factors. The ICIP will monitor the situation and provide regular updates during the 32 months until the conference.

Finally, mention must be made of the leading role played by civil society, and especially by the Control Arms campaign <http://www.controlarms.org/en/>, which has been striving to achieve this result since 2003. The campaign consists of Amnesty International, Oxfam International and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), of which the Fundació per la Pau is a member <www.fundacioperlapau.org>