DAILY FEATURE: ATT perspectives of victims of armed violence

As part of the “100 Days of Speaking Out!”, a countdown to the treaty negotiations, Control Arms will regularly feature stories and profiles of different people who support a bulletproof ATT

The international Arms Trade Treaty has an ethical and a political challenge, it is the tip of the iceberg of a deep international crisis.

On June 14th, civil society organizations, government officials, and members of the diplomatic community gathered in Mexico for a one day conference to discuss the Arms Trade Treaty and the perspective of victims of armed violence.

Among those in attendance were the International Action Network on Small Arms Survivor Network, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, Anthony Mazzitelli (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime), and Roberto Dondish, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights and the chief ATT negotiator for Mexico.

In his remarks Dondish recognized the progress that has been achieved in negotiations thus far and noted the positive participation of other Latin American countries in the negotiation process.

The conference was also widely attended by religious organizations with the Ecclesial Observatory, the Centre for Ecumenical Studies, Churches for Peace, also participating. Representative from these organizations emphasized the moral imperative of an Arms Trade Treaty and urged that the treaty can be a tool to help fight the recent rise in armed violence in Latin America.

The Ecclesial Observatory, the Theological Community of Mexico, Churches for Peace and Centre for Ecumenical Studies handed over to Roberto Dondisch letters where they request to continue with an active participation of the Mexican Government to achieve a treaty that substantially reduce the availability of illicit weapons and thereby allow that vulnerable communities can be more secure and help stopping the wave of 750,000 people who lose their lives every year due to armed violence world, and encourage Mexico to:

1. subscribing positions in his regional group;
2. making that the support be known during the discussions;
3. reinforcing or unite states of other regions to strengthen the interregional support for a strong Treaty;

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