Governments are signing up to the world’s first internationally binding treaty to regulate the trade in conventional weapons Monday. Adopted by the UN in April after a vote of 154 to three, the agreement will control the global trade in arms and ammunition. Caritas members in France, Colombia, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo have been pressing for the deal. Joseph Cornelius Donnelly reports from the UN in New York.

At last! At last in more than one way dozens of Member States are now sitting inside UN’s Trusteeship Council Conference Room. Ceremonial beginnings under way with speeches on what is being called an historic day. What will count is not the very important signatures alone, but the urgent ongoing implementation of an effective Arms Trade Treaty to comprehensively bring greater peace and security to the world, to the human family everywhere – everywhere at last.

It is noted that civil society, all kinds, sizes and origins, have been pivotal in reaching this moment at hand. For the last ten years at a minimum, we have all said, “the arms trade is out of control”. For others, it’s been 20 years educating and galvanizing global momentum for this work to eliminate extensive human suffering everywhere it thrives from corruption and reckless business practices,  questionable international activities and unjust policies.

The signing has begun. The diplomats are lining up. The participants are applauding. The NGOs are cautiously engaging these long held hopes knowing so much more hard work awaits us all. It is an historic moment from which protection of civilians can rightly flourish without dramatic fears at all levels of life, economy, environment, law and order sustaining the greater common good for all, for our one human family. No one should die. No one should be killed.

The UN Charter calls out, more urgently than ever…”We, the peoples…” Yes, at last… a global arms trade commitment made public so none can avoid this demand for justice, this massively advocated effort for peace with justice.

There will be more. There is already more!