Without ammunition, guns are just heavy sticks. Without shells, tanks are just tractors. That’s why 69 countries yesterday demanded ammunition be included in the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in a way that subjects it to the same regulations as the guns the rounds are fired from. The strong joint statement was read by the Ghana delegation at the UN negotiations in New York, who said: “Bullets need to be controlled as well as guns; shells need to be controlled as well as tanks, and this is the same for all conventional arms.” The statement was welcomed by Baffour Amoa, President of the West African Action Network on Small Arms: “There is no way around it, bullets must be regulated.” This sends a strong message to the world that bullets need to be controlled just as much as guns – a point which Control Arms coalition members have been telling decision-makers for nearly a decade now. And that wasn’t the only victory of the day!
41 states recognized the importance of development in the Arms Trade Treaty and outlined exactly how it should be included. In a move welcomed by civil society, countries from Australia to Burkina Faso made it clear they want an ATT which incorporates socio-economic development provisions.