STR—AFP/Getty
December 23, 2014 3:27 AM EST

A global arms treaty aiming to cut off the weapon supply for human-rights violators comes into force Wednesday, and campaigners vow to enforce its implementation.

“For too long, arms and ammunition have been traded with few questions asked about whose lives they will destroy,” Anna Macdonald, director of the Control Arms coalition of NGOs, told Agence France-Presse. “The new Arms Trade Treaty which enters into force this week will bring that to an end. It is now finally against international law to put weapons into the hands of human rights abusers and dictators.”

A total of 60 countries including France, Great Britain and Germany have all pledged to adhere to the the treaty, while 70 others, including China, Russia and the largest exporter of all, the U.S., have approved but are yet to ratify it.

Campaigners note that much work remains to implement regulation of the $85 billion global weapons trade, and a first meeting between the signatory states will be held around September.

ATT, as the treaty is known, is the first major arms accord since the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996.

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