Goals Not Guns

How the Sustainable Development Goals and the Arms Trade Treaty are Interlinked

In 2015 the international community agreed the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a collection of 17 interlinked broad goals that aim to deliver a transformed world over the next 13 years. 
The flow of arms, both licit and illicit, can undermine and hinder development. 

The Arms Trade Treaty and the SDGs are inextricably interlinked. There are many areas where the goals of these two processes overlap. One obvious link is SDG Target 16.4, which calls for significant reductions of illicit arms flows. However, the connections are far broader and deeper than that, and include reducing gender-based violence and improving gender equality, and making cities safer by tackling the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. 

This case study explores these interconnections between the ATT and the SDGs. It shows how there are opportunities to address complementary obligations through Official Development Assistance (ODA), and argues that there is a need for more direct and practical engagement between arms experts and the development community. 
Both the ATT and SDGs require effective implementation by states at the national level. If the ATT is implemented effectively, it will have a positive impact on achieving the SDGs, and vice versa. Conversely, inadequate implementation of either could risk undermining the success of both. 

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