U.N. Arms Trade Treaty opens for signature

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty opened for signature Monday at the world body's headquarters in New York City.

"With the ATT, the world has decided to finally put an end to the 'free-for-all' nature of international weapons transfers," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "The ATT is substantive and robust, but its effectiveness will depend on the willingness of States to ensure its full implementation."

The conditions of the treaty will be implemented 90 days following its ratification by 50 nations. The treaty will not override national regulations, but it will control the international market of arms.

"The treaty will provide an effective deterrent against excessive and destabilizing arms flows, particularly in conflict-prone regions," Ban said. "It will make it harder for weapons to be diverted into the illicit market, to reach warlords, pirates, terrorists and criminals, or to be used to commit grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law."

This will be the first international treaty to regulate the global arms trade. When voted upon two months prior, the treaty won approval by 154 votes to three. The three nations against the treaty were the People's Republic of Korea, Iran and Syria.

U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane said the treaty is "a new chapter in which States will sign up to an international contract bringing responsibility and transparency to the global arms trade."