A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
According to new figures, more than $2.2 billion worth of arms and ammunition have been imported since 2000 by countries operating under arms embargoes. The figures show the extent to which states have been flagrantly flouting the 26 UN, regional or multilateral arms embargoes in force during this period.
Oxfam is calling on the international community to put an end to decades of irresponsible arms deals which devastate people’s lives, by agreeing a set of legally-binding laws when diplomats meet to draw up a new Arms Trade Treaty in July. Oxfam wants to see the new treaty place strict, unambiguous and legal obligations on states to control the global trade in arms.
To be effective, the new Arms Trade Treaty must include legally-binding criteria that prevent arms transfers where there is a substantial risk they will be used to violate international human rights or humanitarian law or undermine development.
The absence of comprehensive, international legal obligations to prevent irresponsible transfers of arms has resulted in at least $2.2 billion worth of arms and ammunition being imported by countries under arms embargoes between 2000 and 2010.
- To have real impact, a prospective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) must include legally binding criteria that prevent arms transfers to abusers of human rights or into situations where there is a substantial risk that they will undermine development or exacerbate armed violence;
- The ATT can build on existing regional and sub-regional initiatives: as of 2012, 100 countries are already party to various regional agreements that include legally binding criteria to control the trade of arms and ammunition.
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