[3 July 2012] - Final negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty are starting this week at the UN headquarters in New York.
Over the next four weeks, the conference will bring together the UN's 193 Member States who will have an opportunity to negotiate an end to irresponsible arms trading as no international treaty exists to ensure strict control of the trade.
According to Control Arms Campaign, a global civil society alliance, every day, millions of people suffer from the direct and indirect consequences of arms trade. Thousands are killed, others are injured, many are raped, and/or forced to flee their homes, while many have to live under constant threat of weapons.
The treaty aims to address all aspects of the arms trade, including:
- The scope - the weapons covered
The treaty should include all weapons, all transfers and all transactions. It should list all types of weapons, munitions and other arms.
- Criteria - situations to take into account by an exporting country when authorising a transfer
Strong rules should be agreed on to protect human rights, preventing arms from being sent to those who would most likely use them to seriously violate these rights. This should be based on States’ existing legal obligations to International Humanitarian Law, the UN Charter and international treaties.
The treaty must provide guidelines for full and clear implementation. It must have a mechanism for monitoring compliance and must include provisions for dispute settlement and sanctions.
Civil society organisations, including human rights and development groups and gun control organisations, are calling on governments to agree on a treaty with strong rules to ensure respect for International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
According to Amnesty International, although most governments want to see a strong treaty text agreed by 27 July, some have been trying to weaken the treaty rules and definitions. The United States, China, Syria, and Egypt have recently voiced their opposition to including ammunition. China wants to exclude small arms and "gifts" while several Middle Eastern governments oppose human rights criteria in the treaty.
Visit the Control Arms Campaign website.
Visit the UN page of the conference.
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Last updated 04/07/2012 13:49:01