Representatives from more than 150 countries are meeting this month at the U.N. headquarters in an effort to draft an international arms trade treaty. A proposed treaty could set global standards for trade in conventional weapons.
Peter Herby, head of the arms division at the ICRC, said an effective international arms trade treaty would be a victory for humanitarian and non-governmental groups like his.
"Conventional weapons of every kind can be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law," said Herby in a statement. "For this reason, the treaty should cover transfers of all such weapons, and their ammunition."
The Arms Control Association, a private research company in Washington D.C., points to research from Oxfam that says more than $2.2 billion was spent by countries under arms embargoes since since 2000.
"Amazingly, there are more international laws on the trade of bananas than conventional weapons, like AK-47s," said Daryl Kimball, head of the Arms Control Association, in a statement.
Kimball's group said ongoing conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria highlight the need to find common ground on the regulation of the arms trade.