Women peace and security: The role of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

30 October 2009

During October 2009 members of the IANSA Women's Network participated in the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament to promote support for women's role in arms control, and arms trade regulation through a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The event launched a briefing paper 'Women peace and security: The role of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)' by Dr Mirjana Dokmanovic, an international lawyer and active IANSA woman from Serbia.

The paper argues that global standards for the international import, export and transfer of conventional arms and ammunition should prohibit transfers where there is a significant risk that the transfer will be in used to violate women’s human rights or perpetuate a pattern of gender-based violence. It argues that international law demands linking the norms of an Arms Trade Treaty with UN Security Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, and 1889, and obligations under international human rights and international humanitarian law.

The involvement of conventional weapons in facilitating violence against women is a cross-cutting issue that demands more attention. States have a duty to protect their citizens. To protect women’s rights, the relevant binding international instruments covering rape and sexual violence must be applied in an arms transfer decisions, as well as relevant soft law.


1. The importance of an Arms Trade Treaty
2. The significance of Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889
3. International Law
4. International Human Rights Law
5. International Humanitarian Law
6. State responsibilities to protect women’s human rights
7. State responsibilities to prevent sexual violence
8. Resolution 1325 and small arms control
9. States’ responsibilities on the regulation of the arms trade and the prevention of sexual violence
10. Using International Law as a tool
11. Conclusion

The briefing paper is currently available online at: