The U.N. General Assembly in an overwhelming vote on April 2 adopted a treaty that will regulate transactions of conventional weapons to prevent them from being used for genocide, terrorism and the suppression of human rights.

The Arms Trade Treaty came into shape 18 years after Nobel Peace Prize winners, nongovernmental organizations and international law scholars first called for forming such a treaty. It took seven years of negotiations for the United Nations to adopt the treaty.

So far, there have been international mechanisms to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and biological and chemical weapons. There has not been such a mechanism for conventional weapons.