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The Arms Trade Treaty: Responsibility to Protect in Action?

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This paper argues that the influence of R2P can be seen in many subtle, yet significant, ways throughout the Arms Trade Treaty, from the language used to the obligations imposed on States Parties. The Arms Trade Treaty indicates that R2P is influencing decision making and contributing to the protection of populations from atrocity crimes by obliging States Parties to explicitly consider the consequences of their arms transfers. In addition, the Arms Trade Treaty has increased our understanding of R2P by confirming that R2P involves a range of measures and includes restraint by States in refusing to transfer arms in situations where atrocity crimes are being committed, which may temper concerns about R2P being rebranded as assistance.

Affiliations: 1: The University of Adelaide, Australia,


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