Campaigners Reaction to Draft Arms Trade Treaty Text

Published: 24 July 2012
Reaction from the International Committeof the Red Cross

Peter Herby , Head Arms Unit, Legal Division, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (ICRC is not a Member of the Control Arms Coalition, but spoke on the reaction panel today) – “All the core provisions of this draft treaty still have major loopholes which will simply ratify the status quo, instead of setting a high international standard that will change state practices and save lives on the ground.”  
 
Reaction from members of the Control Arms Coalition:

Anna Macdonald  Head of Arms Control , Oxfam said: “There are more holes in this draft treaty than in a leaky bucket and these must be urgently closed if we are going to stop weapons from flowing into the world`s  worst conflict zones . We have three days for this urgent task.”

Jeff Abramson, Director of the Control Arms Secretariat said:  “This treaty must define what is responsible arms trade. At the moment it relies on outdated definitions from the shadow of the cold war and fails to comprehensively include ammunition, which means that we could have rules for some of the weapons – but not all , and not their ammunition.”  

Roy  Isbister, Team leader on Arms Transfers at Safer World said: “It is hard to see what difference this treaty will make and in fact it could make things a lot worse by legitimizing a poor standard of Practice."

Brian Wood, Head of Arms Control at Amnesty International said:  "World leaders have only three days to close the major loopholes in the draft treaty, including the obvious need to cover ammunition and all types of international transfer, not just trade. And there are several other devils in the detail. These loopholes could easily be exploited to allow arms to be supplied to those that intend to use them to commit serious human rights violations, as the world is seeing in Syria. President Obama is the crucial decision maker in the coming days. We call on him to make this happen before Friday.”

Baffour Amoa, President of the West African Network on Small Arms said: Africa is really disappointed that ammunition and munitions are not specifically mentioned in the scope of the treaty and if this goes through it means that so many more lives are at risk in real conflicts on the ground and negotiators need to act now.“

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