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THE UNITED NATIONS, December 24. /TASS/. The UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), regulating the international trade in conventional arms, officially came into force on Wednesday.
To become legally binding, the pact needed be ratified by at least 50 states. So far, 60 states have ratified the treaty, and a total of 130 states have signed it, indicating that they intend to ratify it.
The UN has welcomed the entry into force of the treaty, saying that it opens a “new chapter in collective efforts to bring responsibility, accountability and transparency to the global arms trade.”
“From now on, the States Parties to this important treaty will have a legal obligation to apply the highest common standards to their international transfers of weapons and ammunition,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.
The UN General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in April 2013. A total of 154 states voted in favor of the pact, while Iran, North Korea and Syria voted against it. Another 23 countries, including Russia, abstained. Critics say the treaty is a declaration rather than a real tool aimed at controlling the arms trade.
Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin earlier said the text of the treaty has “significant drawbacks” and it fails to meet the standards which are already used “not only in Russia but also in many other countries.”
Russia insisted that the document should have a provision banning the sales of weapons to unauthorized non-state actors, saying that otherwise the compliance with the treaty would become non-efficient.