About the project

The Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is the first international legally binding agreement to establish standards for regulating the trade in conventional arms and preventing illicit transfers. The ATT entered into force on 24 December 2014, 19 months after it opened for signature.

States that have signed and ratified the ATT are obliged to establish and maintain an effective transfer control system for conventional arms, to prohibit certain arms transfers and to not authorize certain arms exports. States are also obliged to take additional steps aimed at preventing the diversion of conventional arms, particularly Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), to the illicit market. As such, while the ATT is squarely focused on the development and implementation of effective arms transfer controls, it also compliments wider efforts in field of SALW controls more generally, particularly the UN Programme of Action on SALW (PoA).

In many cases, States will require financial and technical assistance to help with the process of implementing the ATT. Recognizing these needs, the final text of the ATT includes provisions on international cooperation and assistance that suggest areas where such assistance might be focused, who might provide it, and mechanisms through which it might be carried out.

The website

In recent years, a significant number of cooperation and assistance activities have been carried out aimed at establishing or improving States’ arms transfer and SALW controls. These activities have been carried out by NGOs, States, and international and regional organisations.

Many of these activities have been ‘ATT-focused’ and aimed at helping States to ratify and implement the Treaty. However, a larger number of ‘ATT-relevant’ activities have also been carried out. These are activities that are not explicitly focused on ATT implementation, but which nonetheless have the potential to help States implement the Treaty’s provisions.

Implementors and partner States often face difficulties in coordinating these activities since they are unaware of others that have taken place or are taking place, leading to gaps in coverage and duplication of efforts. The ‘Mapping ATT-Relevant Cooperation and Assistance’ website was developed in order to help address this issue.

The website aims to provide stakeholders with information about ‘ATT-focused’ and ‘ATT-relevant’ cooperation and assistance activities and documents. The website has two longer-term objectives. First, it is intended to help stakeholders to build upon past projects, plan joint activities, and avoid duplication of efforts. Second, it is intended to help the ATT Secretariat perform ‘the matching of offers and requests for assistance for Treaty implementation’ called for under the Treaty.

The activity database

The activity database currently contains information about ATT-focused and ATT-relevant cooperation and assistance activities involving partner states from Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean during 2012-2016. SIPRI hopes to expand the coverage of the database to include other regions in the near future.

ATT-focused activities are aimed at helping states to ratify and implement the Treaty. These activities focus on the core concerns of the ATT, that is building and implementing an effective arms transfer control system.

ATT-relevant activities are not explicitly focused on ATT implementation but nonetheless have the potential to help States to implement the Treaty’s provisions. They include activities that are focused on the core concerns of the ATT as well as SALW controls more generally.

A cooperation and assistance activity is a targeted effort – generally a workshop, roundtable meeting, seminar or conference - aimed at building a States’ national capacities in areas relevant to arms transfer and SALW controls. They generally involve one or more partner States (who benefit from the activity), implementors (who carry it out), and donors (who provide the funding).

Implementors and donors may be NGOs, States or international or regional organisations. In certain cases, a partner State may also be an implementor or donor in the same activity. For example, States sometimes play a direct role in implementing or funding an activity in which they are also a partner.

Activities included in the database are tagged and searchable according to their year, focus, type, partner State, implementor, donor, region, and sub-region.

The ‘type’ tags are:
• ‘Sensitization and outreach’ – Building awareness among governments, parliamentarians or NGOs about issues related to arms transfer or SALW controls;
• ‘Legal or legislative assistance’ – Reviewing, amending or drafting legislation or regulations related to arms transfer or SALW controls;
• ‘Institutional capacity-building’ – Strengthening administrative capacities among the national authorities responsible for arms transfer or SALW controls; and
• ‘Technical, material or financial assistance’ – Providing (a) technical experts for training activities or longer-term secondments, (b) equipment and software for record-keeping, marking, detection, and other relevant uses, or (c) institutional funding or direct budgetary support in areas relevant to arms transfer or SALW controls.

The ‘focus’ tags include issues that relate to the ‘core concerns’ of the ATT, such as:
• ‘Transfer controls’ - Establishing or improving an arms transfer control system;
• ‘Brokering controls’ – Establishing or improving controls on brokering;
• ‘Import controls’ - Establishing or improving controls on arms import;
• ‘Transit and trans-shipment controls’ - Establishing or improving controls on arms transit and trans-shipment;
• ‘Control list’ – As part of an arms transfer control system, establishing or improving the list of controlled goods;
• ‘Risk assessments’ - As part of an arms transfer control system, establishing or improving systems for assessing any risks associated with a transfer;
• ‘Diversion’ - As part of an arms transfer control system, establishing or improving systems for assessing any risks of diversion associated with a transfer;
• ‘Reporting on arms transfers’ - Establishing or improving systems for collecting and reporting information on arms transfers; and
• ‘Reporting on arms transfer controls’ - Establishing or improving systems for collecting and reporting information about an arms transfer control system.

The ‘focus’ tags also include issues that relate to SALW controls more generally, such as:
• ‘Inventory and stockpile management’ - Establishing or maintaining systems or capacities for managing SALW stockpiles;
• ‘Marking’ - Establishing or maintaining systems or capacities for marking SALW;
• ‘Tracing’ - Establishing or maintaining systems or capacities for tracing the origin of illicit SALW; and
• ‘Destruction’ - Establishing or maintaining systems or capacities for destroying SALW.

The ‘focus’ tags also include issues that relate to both arms transfer and SALW controls more generally, such as:

• ‘International instruments’ – Implementing international instruments related to arms transfer and SALW controls, such as the ATT and the UN PoA on SALW;
• ‘Regional instruments’ – Implementing regional instruments related to arms transfer and SALW controls, such as the CIFTA and ECOWAS Conventions;
• ‘Regional cooperation’ – Establishing or improving systems of regional cooperation among States on issues relating to arms transfer and SALW controls.

Each activity has an individual page with information about the following: what the activity involved; any larger project of which the activity was a part; the activity’s focus, type, partner States, implementors, donors, and budget; any websites detailing the activity; any other related activities, such as those also connected to the larger project; and contact details for the implementor(s).

The information about activities involving partner states from Sub-Saharan Africa is available in English. The information about activities involving partner States from Latin America and the Caribbean is available in English and Spanish.

Please note that the activities included in the activity database vary significantly in terms of their scale and content. Some activities lasted one day while others lasted several weeks, or years. Some activities had one partner State while others engaged with all States from a particular sub-region or region. Also, for the sake of brevity, some sets of connected activities – particularly ones focused on issues relating to SALW controls more generally – have been condensed into a single entry. In addition, the database does not claim to be comprehensive but illustrative, and there are likely to be many activities - particularly ones focused on issues relating to SALW controls more generally – that are not included.

Finally, it is likely that there are errors in the activity database. When compiling the database we have relied on information published by the implementor or provided by the implementor to SIPRI. However, this information has not been independently verified. For example, if a published report about an activity mentions participation by all States in Latin America and the Caribbean, then all States in the region will be listed as partner States. Independently verifying whether all the States actually participated in the event was beyond the scope of the mapping effort.

For these reasons, we advise caution when using the activity database. The database is of greatest value as a qualitative tool for understanding the overall content, type and focus of cooperation and assistance activities that have taken place involving partner States from the regions covered. It should not be used as a quantitative tool for measuring the volume of assistance provided in these regions or for comparing the amount of assistance provided to particular partner States.

We also welcome any and all input concerning corrections, improvements and additions to the activity database. The website hosts a feedback tool, allowing users to send suggestions for improvements to the activity database. It also hosts a submission tool, allowing users to submit information about activities that should be included in the activity database.

Document database

The document database contains guidelines, regional instruments and other material that may be of assistance to States as they seek to implement the ATT, as well as documents produced in connection with the activities in the activity database.

Documents in the database are tagged and searchable according to their year of publication, publisher, type and focus.

The ‘type’ tags are:
• ‘Activity reports’ - Implementation reports, impact assessments and other documents connected to the activities in the activity database;
• 'International instrument' – International instruments related to arms transfer and SALW controls, such as the ATT and the UN PoA on SALW;
• 'Regional instrument' - Regional instruments related to arms transfer and SALW controls, such as the CIFTA and ECOWAS Conventions;
• 'Model law or regulation' – Templates showing States how to create legislation and regulations on arms transfer and SALW controls that is in line with relevant international and regional instruments; and
• 'Guidelines’ – Guidelines showing States how to create legislation and regulations on arms transfer and SALW controls in ways that are in line with relevant international and regional instruments.

The ‘focus’ tags are the same as those used in the activity database (see above).

About SIPRI

SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. Based in Stockholm, SIPRI also has a presence in Beijing, and is regularly ranked among the most respected think tanks worldwide.

SIPRI's vision is a world in which sources of insecurity are identified and understood, conflicts are prevented or resolved, and peace is sustained.

SIPRI’s mission is to:

- undertake research and activities on security, conflict and peace;
- provide policy analysis and recommendations;
- facilitate dialogue and build capacities;
- promote transparency and accountability; and
- deliver authoritative information to global audiences

About UNREC

UNREC was established in 1986 pursuant to General Assembly resolution A/Res/40/151/G, following a request made at the Assembly of Heads of States and Government of the Organization of African Unity. UNREC is mandated to provide, upon request, substantive support for initiatives and other efforts of Member States of the African region towards the realization of measures of peace, arms limitation and disarmament in the region, in co-operation with the African Union. For additional information visit www.unrec.org.

SIPRI developed this website in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC).

Some resources or data listed and/or hyperlinked on these pages may be from individuals, organizations and entities other than the United Nations and are provided for information purposes only. The provision of such resources, data or hyperlinking is not an endorsement by the United Nations of the views expressed therein nor does the United Nations have control over the content or accuracy of information provided. No editorial comment is implied by the omission of a resource, data or website.

About UNLIREC

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), headquartered in Lima, Peru, was created by a UN General Assembly resolution in 1986. UNLIREC was created to support 33 Latin American and Caribbean States in their implementation of peace and disarmament measures and promotion of economic and social development. It is also tasked with applying all mandates related to disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation given to it by UN Member States. UNLIREC is the only UN regional entity specialized in disarmament and non-proliferation in the region. In short, its main function is to translate the decisions, instruments and commitments of Member States in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation into action. For additional information visit http://www.unlirec.org

SIPRI expanded this website to cover Latin America and the Caribbean in cooperation with UNLIREC.

Some resources or data listed and/or hyperlinked on these pages may be from individuals, organizations and entities other than the United Nations and are provided for information purposes only. The provision of such resources, data, or hyperlinking is not an endorsement by the United Nations of the views expressed therein nor does the United Nations have control over the content or accuracy of the information provided. No editorial comment is implied by the inclusion or omission of a resource, author, publisher, data, or website.