Canada prepares to join Arms Trade Treaty

Ottawa: Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland on Thursday said the Canadian government will introduce a legislation to enable the country to join the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The landmark ATT, regulating the international trade in conventional arms -- from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships -- entered into force on 24, December 2014, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The Arms Trade Treaty can set a real global standard, and thereby help prevent human rights abuses and protect lives. Canada's existing system of export controls meets most of the treaty's thresholds, and this legislation will set our standards in law," Freeland said.

She said Canada must continue to encourage other countries to join this treaty and must ensure it is properly implemented globally. "We are committed to introducing this legislation, and I am very pleased that we will in turn raise the bar with a stronger and more rigorous system for our country," added the Canadian Minister.

The ATT is about protecting people from arms. It ensures countries effectively regulate the international trade of arms, so they are not used to support terrorism, international organised crime, gender-based violence, human rights abuses, or violations of international humanitarian law.

To implement necessary changes, Canada announced last month an investment of 13 million Canadian dollars (about $9.75 million) to strengthen the country's export control regime. These resources will be used to implement new brokering controls, improve transparency, and support enhancements to Canada's export controls.

It also recognises the importance of promoting the ATT and is contributing one million Canadian dollars to the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation, in order to help other countries accede to the ATT.

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