Governments show overwhelming support for Arms Treaty
The Control Arms campaign: Oxfam International, Amnesty International and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA).
Campaigners around the world are celebrating a significant victory after more than 80 governments participated in the UN consultation process on an Arms Trade Treaty.
The arms trade has no effective global controls at present. The proposed treaty would establish global standards that could save thousands of lives and hold irresponsible arms dealers accountable for their actions.
Speaking earlier this month at a conference in New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed the proposed treaty would establish common international standards for the import, export and transfer of all conventional arms. The treaty would make a major contribution to the attainment of humanitarian, human rights and development objectives worldwide, he said.
Control Arms says the work of global civil society must be recognised as a major contributing factor to the success of the treaty process so far. Control Arms coordinated more than 100 People’s Consultations around the world where ordinary people shared their views on what the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) should include.
The majority of states where consultations were held made submissions to the UN. The submissions showed widespread support for a treaty that protects human rights and sustainable development and enhances regional security.
“In the Philippines, where I’m from, the unregulated arms trade fuels widespread human rights abuses – politically motivated killings and attacks on freedom of speech are a regular occurrence.” From the start, I knew the People’s Consultation would be an important campaign to ensure that the voices of ordinary people were taken into account. It’s really positive that governments have listened to people who suffer from armed violence on a daily basis,” said Fred Lubang of Non-Violence International, representing the Control Arms campaign.
Over the past week, two major regional bodies have restated their support for the proposed Treaty. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Council of the European Union (EU) both issued public statements last week supporting moves towards more responsible and stringent regulation of the global arms trade.
“We welcome supportive statements from the UN Secretary-General, ECOWAS and the European Union and are especially happy to see so many responses from Latin American governments and from other developing nations, since these are the countries that suffer the highest costs of gun violence. All governments must now ensure that human rights, international humanitarian law and sustainable development are at the heart of the Arms Trade Treaty so it can save lives,” said Heather Sutton from Sou da Paz in Brazil.
“Heads of State will be meeting at the African Union, Southern African Development Community and Pacific Islands Forum meeting over the coming months – we want to see those regional organisations pledging support for an Arms Trade Treaty. We hope all responses to the Secretary-General will be carefully considered when the UN General Assembly holds further discussions on the treaty in October this year,” said Charles Nasibu-Bilali, a Congolese researcher and Control Arms campaigner.
Government submissions are now being collated for the Secretary-General, whose next move will be to establish a Group of Governmental Experts that will formally start work on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2008.
For more information, please contact:
Oxfam International: Jennifer Abrahamson on +1 212 687 2150 (office) or +1 202 321 7858 (cell)
Amnesty International: Pollyanna Truscott on +1 212 867 8878 (office) or +1 646 884 2964 (cell)
IANSA: Mark Marge on +1 646 257 4130 (office) or +1 646 207 6523 (cell)
European Union Office reports and papers
Photo of the wk: Young Ahmed holds the keys to 1 of 48 new wash blocks, Zaatari camp #Jordan http://t.co/qOs5BOPh63 #Syria #refugees5 hours 47 min ago
1000s homeless again, searching for safety as violence erupts again in eastern #DRC http://t.co/C3cLwXNit3 $1bn WorldBank aid pledge7 hours 7 min ago
UN Disaster Risk Reduction Conference: Good, but needs to go further http://t.co/Hm54O1EsXT #GPDRR13 #drr @UNDP @unisdr @odi_development8 hours 12 min ago
European #taxhavens are 2/3 of the $150 billion tax loss problem http://t.co/jax7i3jVsd #G8 #taxdodging #transparency9 hours 52 min ago
Thx @Food_Tank! Proud 2b in 40 Orgs Shaking Up the Food System list @IFADnews @millenniuminst @OneAcreFund @ONECampaign @rocunited @FAOnews11 hours 58 min ago
RT @oxfamgb: Good news of £30m extra funding from @DFID_UK for #Syria. Still need more aid from others & big push for a peace. http://t.co/…12 hours 4 min ago
US pushes Europe to amend arms #embargo on Syrian rebels http://t.co/B8KYe8VNQn #SyriaCrisis @StateDept @WilliamJHague @eu_eeas @OxfamEU12 hours 42 min ago
+80,000 ppl have been killed & several million displaced since the #SyriaCrisis began; #EU must extend arms embargo http://t.co/JlpzH9egf713 hours 11 min ago
RT @Katie_Nguyen1: Another arresting headline from @katymigiro 'Chips for sex: Oxfam explores the lives of #Kenya’s hungry millions' http:…13 hours 31 min ago
RT @liviafirth: 1 empowered woman can spark a positive change for her whole community @Oxfam @thecircle_oxfam #SparksthatFly @eco_age13 hours 50 min ago
RT @Karl_Schembri: #Syria children nxt to newly installed water tap outside 1 of 48 new wash blocks by @Oxfam in #Zaatari Camp, #Jordan htt…14 hours 28 min ago
The #ArmsTreaty can create a safer future for millions, but first it needs signatures. Urge the US to sign! http://t.co/4YUsIawus716 hours 17 min ago
#EU foreign ministers must bite the bullet & extend the arms #embargo on #Syria http://t.co/rL80yARiSt #SyriaCrisis #ArmsTreaty22 hours 46 min ago
RT @OxfamIreland: Ireland pledges €2.5 million in aid to Mali to contribute to reconstruction http://t.co/wvUzsRsHoD via @IrishTimes #Mal…1 day 6 hours ago
As @UN Disaster Risk Reduction Conference ends, worth checking #GPDRR13 for great tweets from @unisdr @UNOCHA @Federation et al1 day 6 hours ago