After a 10-year process of consultations and discussions, governments will convene at the United Nations (UN) in July 2012 to negotiate the provisions of a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The international community now has a unique opportunity to reduce the impact of irresponsible arms transfers on conflict, armed violence, and socio-economic development. It is vital that negotiators and power-brokers take this opportunity to reflect on the intrinsic links between development and security and create specific obligations within the ATT on development, humanitarian law, and human rights.
This paper presents a rationale for embedding the core principles of development into the prospective Treaty. It also outlines a methodology, with evidence-based indicators, which states can use to conduct risk assessments of proposed arms transfers to ensure that they do not negatively affect the recipient country’s socio-economic development.
Finally, the paper explores relevant development assistance mechanisms to help countries strengthen their institutions in order to become ‘treaty compliant’.