The USA signs Arms Trade Treaty and advances towards its entry into force

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was adopted by UN General Assembly in overwhelming vote. Since then, we have reached 114 signatories, including the largest exporter of arms in the world, the USA, which did so on September 25 of this year. The number of countries that have ratified the Treaty is lower, with just 8 countries on the list (Mexico, Nigeria, Costa Rica, Iceland, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Granada and Antigua, and Barbados). It is forecast that if the current calendar of ratifications maintains the impulse (there are a significant number in process of ratification), at some point in 2014 we will be able to announce the entry into force of the Treaty (which will be 90 days after the fiftieth ratification).
Truth be told, the process involved in the entry into force of the new international legislation is slow going. The evident premise is that countries have to agree with each other before a new treaty is adopted. The immense diversity between countries; size, development, population, culture, geography, perceptions, interests, etc., means that reaching a majority multilateral decision is nothing short of a colossal task, even more so when countries often demand unanimous support for the text before its adoption. Any new treaty always includes the conditions required before it can enter into force, which normally means a specific number of signatory countries as well as others who have ratified the Treaty already. After becoming a signatory, an act with little legal effect, countries must perform the process for ratification. Ratifying a treaty implies its incorporation into the country's legal system, and in order to do this, it must firstly follow parliamentary procedures, evidently a slow process in itself.

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