Nigeria first African country to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty

Last Tuesday, 3 September, Nigeria became the fifth country – and first in Africa – to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Besides Nigeria, Iceland, Guyana, and Antigua and Barbuda have already ratified the treaty.

“We need more countries to ratify the treaty; we need less money put into arms and more money for social protection and green and decent jobs,” said Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, General Secretary for ITUC -Africa. “We now hope that Nigeria will lead the way for the African nations and also start implementing the treaty as soon as possible,” he added.

The ITUC welcomed the adoption of the treaty on April 2 this year after twenty years of campaigning. The treaty aims to tighten the control of conventional arms and weapons. At least 500,000 people die every year on average, and millions more are displaced and abused as result of armed violence and conflict.

Since it opened for signature on 3 June this year at the United Nations in New York, 83 countries from every region of the world have signed the ATT.

The ATT requires ratification by 50 states before it can enter into force.

The UN General Assembly of 2 April 2013 (71st Plenary Meeting) adopted the Arms Trade Treaty as a resolution by a 154-to-3 votes with 23 abstentions.