Seven years have now passed since the UK took an active role in pushing for an agreement.
And now the UN is just hours from taking a decision that will affect the lives of many and the future of millions.
The overwhelming consensus ahead of this week's conference was that for any Treaty to be worthy of the scale of the effort invested in it, it would need to be broad in its scope, robust in its application and include a strong humanitarian component.
Although this consensus was not universal, Labour in government put the UK in the lead in pursuing this agenda and enlisting others to support it.
We made absolutely clear that when it came to it, we should never prioritise consensus at the cost of efficacy.
Signing up to a weak treaty would be a betrayal of the generation who had fought for it and represent a lost opportunity for another generation to come.
But as progress towards an agreement accelerated, the likelihood of capitulation has increased.
And today it looks like those worst fears are at risk of being realised.
Although no one country, leader or organisation can be blamed, the UK government today has serious questions it must now answer about the role it has played in these crucial final days.
In 2011 a parliamentary select committee report warned that the government seemed to have "adopted a different policy" from the last Labour government and criticised their apparent willingness "to weaken the Arms Trade Treaty" in order to get a global agreement.
One year on, the same parliamentary committee published another report, arguing that "the government has put at risk the UK's previous leading role in the drafting and negotiation of the Arms Trade Treaty". In 2011 the government were warned.
In 2012 the alarm was raised again.
And this week we decided to act.
Following the publication of this report, many campaigners, as well as Labour Party MPs and party members, lobbied the government to respond to these warnings and immediately change course.
In newspaper articles, letters and parliamentary questions, we urged the government to use the final days of the talks to come out clearly stating their commitment to a robust and comprehensive agreement.
But the government let us down.
Instead they sought to close down debate by arguing that in the final stages of the negotiations, any public discussion might jeopardise progress.
As a proud and vocal campaigner on this issue over a number of years I refuse to accept that at this time on this issue public debate puts at risk private diplomacy.
Amidst growing pressure this week, Baroness Falkner, speaking from the government benches in the Lords revealed the government's approach when she asked "would it not be better to... get any text on the paper...".
The answer to that is plainly no.
And there has been near unanimous agreement on that throughout the long and hard fought campaign that has led us to this final day of talks at the UN today.
So what is it that made the government change course? What made it decide to reject the advice, counsel and guidance of the coalition of activists devoted for almost a decade to this cause?
The select committee report published this month may shed some light on this question.
It criticised the government for "failing to maintain continuity of FCO staff at a senior level" on the ATT negotiations.
It highlighted criticisms made by campaign groups that the resources devoted and priority accorded to the ATT in the FCO had been "significantly reduced" in recent months.If tomorrow the UN Conference is deemed to have failed, questions will have to be asked about the
decisions the Government took in the final hours of talks.
At a time when the pressure was highest, the government seemed to have taken their foot off the gas.
If that is shown to be the case, then there will be serious questions they must answer.
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