Oxfam Reaction to New Arms Trade Treaty Text: The historic treaty we need is within reach

New York City,  8.30pm EST Time, 26 July 2012

Anna MacDonald of Oxfam said:

“There have been some improvements since the last text and the historic treaty we need is within reach.

“A major problem is that arms transfers under defense agreements may not be affected by this treaty. We are concerned that this would not stop the latest arms sales from Russia to Syria which are still under contractual agreement. An Arms Trade Treaty should ban such transfers whether or not the two countries are under contract. Russia knows that arms are being used to kill innocent civilians. They should not be allowed to continue to sell weapons to Damascus.

“Public reporting of arms sales has now been cut from the treaty. This needs to change if we are to hold irresponsible arms sellers to account.

“The text now says that when it comes to genocide, war crimes or serious violations of the Geneva Convention a state is only obliged to refuse a sale if it is certain that it will be used for those purposes. This sets the bar far too high. The treaty should prevent sales if there is a possibility that such a crime will be committed.”

Contact information: 

 Louis Belanger +1 917 224 0834, twitter.com/louis_press

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