Foreign Minister Bob Carr today welcomed Australia's signature of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) which will regulate the global trade in conventional weapons - from tanks, warships and combat aircraft, to assault rifles and their ammunition.
"I am proud that Australia is one of the first countries to sign this historic agreement," Senator Carr said.
"For Australia this represents the culmination of years of commitment and leadership on this issue.
"As I said when the UN General Assembly adopted the Treaty on April 2 - now is the time for global action on conventional arms control."
Each day there are around 2,000 deaths in conflicts fuelled by illegally-traded weapons.
These weapons, including cheap and readily available assault rifles such as the AK-47, are the enablers of a catalogue of crimes, including against women and children. The greatest impact of the illicit conventional arms trade often falls on the poorest and most vulnerable communities.
Senator Carr announced last July that Australia would provide $1 million to a multilateral assistance fund to help developing countries implement the Treaty. The funds would support measures such as drafting national legislation, setting up export control arrangements and building expertise in enforcing arms controls.
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