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Arms control Parliament green-lights Arms Trade Treaty

Governments who sign on to the Arms Trade Treaty must determine how their weapons exports will be used

(Keystone)

Swiss parliament has approved the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which bans weapons trades that could result in serious human rights violations.

The ATT is the first international agreement to attempt to stem the illicit global weapons trade. Switzerland signed on in June 2013, along with more than 60 other countries worldwide, after the United Nations General Assembly approved the ATT earlier that year.

Under the agreement, unanimously accepted by both houses of parliament, arms transfers may not be approved if the country selling the weapons has reason to believe they may be used for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

Swiss law did not need to be altered for the ratification of the ATT, since Switzerland already participates in many aspects of the treaty, such as weapons export controls.

Geneva is being considered as the headquarters for the ATT, so cabinet is planning to ratify the agreement as soon as possible in order to be able to take part in planning discussions.

Today, more than 118 countries have signed the ATT and 45 have ratified it. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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