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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Support of the Arms Trade Treaty

On October 30, 2009, UN members voted in favor of forming an Arms Trade Treaty. 153 countries voted in favor, 19 abstained, and one country (Zimbabwe) voted against.

In 2009, Secretary Clinton announced U.S. support for negotiation under rules of consensus decision-making of an Arms Trade Treaty -- intended to establish common international standards for the import, export, and transfer of conventional arms to help prevent the acquisition of arms by terrorists, criminals, and those who violate human rights or are subject to UN arms embargoes. To read Secretary Clinton's statement in support of the Arms Trade Treaty, please go to: The U.S. has in place a very strong export control system, and we will use the opportunity of these negotiations to promote the same high standards for the entire international community. More information on the ATT»

Negotiations on the Treaty began in 2010, and we hope agreement on a Treaty will be secured in 2012. It will help to effectively regulate the international trade in conventional arms.

For more information on the U.S. Government’s Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy, please go to:


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