Campaigners for an Arms Trade Treaty attempt fastest lobby of every government in the world

“An estimated one million people have been killed at gunpoint since the Control Arms Campaign began three years ago”
Anna Macdonald
Oxfam International
Published: 18 October 2006

Control Arms Campaign: Oxfam International, Amnesty International and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)

Campaigners for an Arms Trade Treaty will today attempt to lobby all 192 United Nations government missions in 192 minutes, in the run up to an expected vote on a resolution to start work on the Treaty at the UN next week.

Lobbyists will be swapping their suits for sweat pants in a bid to convince governments to vote in favor of the upcoming resolution in the UN General Assembly’s First Committee. Survivors of gun violence are also taking part in the ‘Race for an Arms Trade Treaty’.

“We’re determined to out-run the gun runners. An estimated one million people have been killed at gunpoint since the Control Arms Campaign began three years ago. But now we are seeing the momentum behind the Arms Trade Treaty building with every day that passes. Almost 90 governments are already on board,” said Anna Macdonald, Oxfam International’s Control Arms Campaign Manager.

Loopholes in current arms export regulations allow transfers of weapons that fuel conflict, undermine sustainable development, or contribute to gross human rights violations. The campaigners are calling for a global treaty to ban these transfers.

Charles Nasibu, an IANSA member from the Democratic Republic of Congo said: “My home country has suffered the devastating consequences of the international arms trade out of control. We have borders in common with nine other countries, so the flood of guns in DRC destabilizes the entire region. The ATT will benefit not only Congo but Africa as a whole.”

Almost 90 governments have already announced that they will co-sponsor a resolution to begin work on an Arms Trade Treaty, with more expected to follow in the coming days. Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada and Ghana are among those who have previously expressed support for an Arms Trade Treaty, but have yet to announce that they will co-sponsor the resolution.

“The race is on to get the remaining undecided governments on board. Those who are still sceptical, including the USA, Russia and China, must listen to the voices of the almost 90 governments who want an Arms Trade Treaty. With an estimated 1000 people dying every day at gunpoint, the need to effectively control arms transfers is urgent,” said Brian Wood, Amnesty International’s Arms Policy Advisor.

Oxfam International, Amnesty International and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) are working together to campaign for a global Arms Trade Treaty based on respect for international law, especially human rights and humanitarian law. The campaign, which is also supported by 20 Nobel Peace laureates, has been working towards this vote for three years.
 

 

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