Nobel Laureates' International Code of Conduct

and The Framework Convention on International Arms Transfers


In 1995, Dr. Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica, invited his fellow Nobel Peace laureates to join him in developing an International Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers that would create a set of common criteria for states to use when assessing arms exports. The text was introduced in 1997 and now has the support of 18 Nobel Peace Laureates. The Nobel International Code would require states not to sell arms to countries that do not respect international norms of human rights, humanitarian law and democracy, or that do not act to promote peace and human development, oppose terrorism, or respect military embargoes. 

This original set of standards - while remaining the ideal - proved to be over-ambitious for the current international climate. So in late 1999, a group of NGOs, led by the Oscar Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress in Costa Rica, began to formulate a revised version of the text based solely on states' current obligations under international law. With the help of two international lawyers, a draft treaty was written that would codify international principles already explicitly or implicitly laid out in the UN Charter, humanitarian and human rights law, and other international conventions. The NGOs that developed the "Framework Convention on International Arms Transfers" (including FAS) are now seeking support for this idea among other NGOs, governments, and individuals.

For more information: 

 

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