Leaders of non-governmental organizations encouraged President Obama to support and play a leading role in negotiations to conclude an effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Negotiations are set to resume during the 18th to the 28th of March. In a letter delivered to the White House last week, NGO leaders argued that an ATT is a necessary step to reduce the enormous human suffering cause by irresponsible international arms trade and brokering. The United States is largest weapons supplier in the world.
“The United States, as the world’s leading arms supplier, has a special responsibility to provide the leadership needed for an ATT with the highest possible standards for the transfer of conventional arms and ammunition” they write.
The letter was endorsed by leaders representing 36 human rights, development, religious, and security organizations, including: Amnesty International USA; Arms Control Association; Friends Committee on National Legislation; Oxfam America; National Association of Evangelicals, among others.
In the letter, the organizations highlighted two key issues upon which Obama’s leadership is particularly important. These include a stronger human rights risk assessment previous to a weapons transfer and including ammunition in the scope of the treaty.