Campaign for an Arms Trade Treaty: France
France, Germany and UK are consistently ranked third, fourth or fifth globally in terms of the value of their conventional arms exports.
France’s key customers include Singapore, UAE, Greece, other NATO partners, the Middle East and North Africa region and Francophone countries. Recently, France and Russia have begun exchanges on defence cooperation and naval equipment.
Generally supportive of strict criteria for arms transfers, France has still supplied arms to countries where there is a substantial risk that they could be used to commit serious human rights violations. For example, it supplied weaponry and munitions to Libya under al-Gaddafi, ammunition and armoured vehicles to both Egypt and Chad, and munitions to Syria between 2005 and 2009.
Position going into the ATT negotiations
France has a progressive position broadly in line with the EU Common Position on Arms Exports, established along with the UK and other EU governments. It generally supports inclusion of a binding rule along the lines of Amnesty International’s Golden Rule. France has pushed for a comprehensive treaty and robust enforcement mechanisms, including criminalizing arms trafficking in national laws. However, there is a risk that France (along with Germany and UK) may bend to US pressures to water down human rights protection in order to accommodate China and Russia.