Day 1 of the CSP kicked off with a common message: we need strong implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty to save lives.

Control Arms campaigners woke up early to unveil a tank sculpted from sand, with a strong message to governments: Save lives and stop dodgy arms deals.

The campaign action drew attention to Control Arms’ message to implement a strong Arms Trade Treaty to save lives.

The CSP formally began with an Opening Session, where Control Arms was represented by survivor and advocate Alex Galvez, who told the conference of his own story of being shot during an armed robbery aged just 14:

“When I was shot I thought I was going to die. And I wanted to die, because in Guatemala there aren’t many chances for disabled people as a result of wound firearms. My life experience is just one story amidst millions, that provides an example of what happens when the arms trade is out of control. We must stop this.”

The “save lives” message was also echoed by Governments throughout the High Level opening session. The majority of States also paid tribute to the role of civil society, in securing the ATT, and working toward its implementation and universalization. .

Reporting and transparency were also flagged as important issues for strong ATT implementation by some States and will be a feature of discussions over the next few days at CSP 2015.

Tomorrow thematic discussions begin on Rules of Procedure, Financing, ATT Secretariat and Reporting. We wait in hope that today’s positive words turn into constructive action tomorrow.

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