Time for treaty ‘to prevent the on-going slaughter’: Desmond Tutu

Archbishop also supports new interfaith declaration calling for robust Arms Trade Treaty

New York: Desmond Tutu reminded the world of the importance of the forthcoming Arms Trade Treaty for preventing irresponsible arms transfers that feed widespread armed violence. He said in an email statement:

A historic decision was made in 2009 to negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty. The hour of its negotiation is nearly upon us. Yet without a strong moral foundation the agreement will be a hollow one and do nothing to prevent the on-going slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Member states of the United Nations will next meet in February 2012 in New York to continue work on a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to establish effective standards to regulate what is now an unregulated flow of arms that fuel poverty, conflict and human rights abuses every day. Religious leaders and advocates in the Control Arms coalition have demanded that to have a real impact, the treaty must have tough rules based around international human rights and humanitarian law, and socio-economic development.

Tutu also added his name to an interfaith declaration that has a growing list of senior religious leaders calling for a strong and effective ATT that makes a difference in people’s lives. Some current signatories include the Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Presiding Archbishop and Archbishop Emeritus of Sweden, the Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines and faith-based organizations in more than ten countries. The Declaration will remain open for signatures until it is delivered to governments in advance of the treaty negotiation conference, which will take place July 2-27, 2012.

“Archbishop Tutu’s support, and that of other religious leaders, reminds us that the need to regulate a trade that is out of control is a moral necessity that unites across faith and country boundaries. States must deliver a robust Arms Trade Treaty in 2012, ” said Jeff Abramson, Coordinator of the Control Arms Secretariat.

Contact: Jeff Abramson, Coordinator, Control Arms Secretariat at (646) 527-5793 jeff@controlarms.org

Link to 2008 statement by Desmond Tutu: http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2008-10-21/control-arms-time-to-end-slaughter-desmond-tutu

Control Arms is a global civil society alliance campaigning for a “bulletproof” Arms Trade Treaty that will protect lives and livelihoods.

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