Iceland was the first country to ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with Foreign Minister of Iceland Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson ratifying the agreement on June 3. The news was announced during the visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this week.
Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson.
The treaty is the first of its kind in that it deals primarily with regulating the international trade in conventional arms. The treaty aims to put an end to the flow of arms to conflict regions.
The Nordic States were among those to advocate for the treaty, as described in a press release from the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Gunnar Bragi noted that a provision on gender-based violence was included in the treaty. “In the negotiations on a new Arms Trade Treaty we set out to have a provision on gender-based violence included in the Treaty. In cooperation with our Nordic cousins and other like-minded nations, we succeeded in our task. That is how the system should work, and how we individually – and together – can make a difference.” he said. “We have shown, even just very recently, that it does not take a superpower to advocate successfully for a worthy cause,” he added.