Georgia will join international Arms Trade Treaty

The arms trade treaty demands a radical shift in the behaviour of exporters. Photograph: Martin Godwin/The Guardian, 25 Sep 2014 - 17:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is set to join the first-ever United Nations treaty that regulates international trade of weapons, including guns, battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) signing ceremony will be held in New York City on September 26 as part of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and aimed to halt the flow of weapons to countries that were known to use arms to commit or facilitate serious abuse of human rights.

Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaniani believed joining the treaty was important for Georgia.

"There are many white spots in the world, uncontrolled territories, where there illegal sale and import of weapons is taking place,” Zalkaniani said.

On April 2, 2013, the UNGA adopted the landmark Arms Trade Treaty that would regulate international trade in conventional arms, from small guns to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.

Meanwhile, 118 countries have already signed the treaty and 45 have ratified it, meaning they had adopted the treaty into their own laws. The last ratifications came through on August, leaving the ATT only 5 nations short of becoming legally binding.

The treaty will foster peace and security by thwarting uncontrolled destabilising flow on weapons to conflict regions, read a statement on the United Nations office for Disarmament Affairs website.

"The treaty will prevent human rights abusers and violators of the law of war from being supplied with arms. And it will help keep warlords, pirates and gangs from acquiring these deadly tools,” stated the website.