Lebanon has become the 122nd State to sign the Arms Trade Treaty. Their signature could provide further impetus for additional engagement on the ATT from other States from within the Middle East region.
Fadi Abi Alam, Executive Director of the Permanent Peace Movement in Beruit said, that Lebanon’s action “is an amazing step that has taken by the Lebanese Government. In such a situation where terrorism is hitting Lebanon by arms that are clearly out of any control, signing such a treaty is an action of peace building and additional proof that the Lebanese are lovers of peace.
Additionally, the ATT, saw the number of ratifying countries rise to 54 as Guinea became the latest to join the landmark treaty. Guinea is the sixth State from the Economic Community of West African States to ratify the ATT.
The Arms Trade Treaty will enter into force and become international law on 24 December, 2014. On this date, States will no longer be able to sign the Treaty and will have to accede to officially become State Parties.
Control Arms co-hosted a packed reception this week at the UN Headquarters in New York, together with the governments of Australia, Finland, and Mexico to mark the achievement of over 50 ratifications of the ATT, and the launch of the “50 Celebrating 50” exhibit.
The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane welcome delegates to the exhibit, and noted the rapid speed by which the ATT have moved toward entry into force. Mexican Ambassador Jorge Lomónaco, Australia’s Ambassador John Quinn and Ambassador Janne Taalas of Finland, also spoke, acknowledging the positive role of civil society in the ATT process, and the importance now of moving to effective implementation.
“50 Celebrating 50” profiles the photos and quotes of 50 people across governments, civil society and the UN who worked to make the ATT possible.
See the exhibition online in English, Spanish or French and all are welcome to contribute their own photo and quote as the project continually expands to include more of the many people who have contributed to the ATT’s success. The exhibition will be next displayed in London, get in touch with Control Arms if you are interested in displaying it in your country.
2014 Humanitarian Campaigns Forum explores link between gender and arms
Over 100 campaigners gathered from 17-19 October for the third annual Humanitarian Disarmament Campaigns Forum organised by Control Arms, PACE University and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and focused on the link between gender and arms.
The dynamic program included high-energy speeches from Felicity Ruby of Thoughtworks and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jody Williams that sharpened understanding of how exactly how gender and disarmament are related. These were supplemented by vibrant panel discussions that allowed other perspectives on the subject to be heard and introduce practical ways in gender can be better highlighted within humanitarian disarmament. The Forum also offered skill building and discussion break out groups, and provided the opportunity for global campaign coalitions (International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons, Stop Killer Robots, Control Arms, IANSA, ICBL, CMC, ICBUW, Toxic Remnants of War, and International Network on Explosive Weapons) to update on their activities over the last year.
The Forum produced an Action Plan including specific initiatives that connect gender and arms and which conference participants have committed to supporting over the coming year, and will help ensure that gender will not be marginalized or overlooked in campaign planning, research and reporting. The initiatives span action at the UN, and campaigns such as the “no more all male panels” initiative that seeks to correct under-representation of women in panel discussions. The Action Plan also highlights the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.
The first Humanitarian Forum was convened by Human Rights Watch on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, followed by last year’s event organised by Article 36 and PAX.
Participants also recorded “Its Time” statements for a campaign video made over the weekend, watch it HERE.
In just over one year, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has made history again by achieving the 50 ratifications necessary to activate entry-into-force. At a High Level event at the United Nations today, eight states – Argentina, the Bahamas, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Senegal and Uruguay – deposited their instruments of ratification, bringing the overall total to 53.
Exceeding the 50th ratification has now triggered a 90 day countdown towards entry-into-force, which will happen on 24th December. At this point the ATT will become international law. This rapid achievement demonstrates the high level of strong political leadership and commitment toward the ATT, as well as the dynamic role played by civil society through the Control Arms Race to 50.
To mark this accomplishment Control Arms has launched a new webpage: 50 celebrating 50. The webpage features photos and quotes from 50 individuals from across civil society, government and the UN whose input was important in the securing of the ATT.
Check out the webpages here in English, Spanish or French, and add your own story.
Today’s High Level event was convened by Saint Lucia’s Alva R. Baptiste, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation, and included speeches from Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and Anna Macdonald on behalf of Control Arms.
“The most important message today is that the imminent entry into force of the ATT presents the chance to change the arms trade. The chance to change the unconstrained flood of arms and ammunition into the world’s worst conflict zones. The chance to change the culture of ‘if we don’t sell them, someone else will’.” Anna Macdonald
Read Anna’s full speech here.
Each of the ratifying States also spoke about the importance of the ATT entering into the force. Mexico, as host of the First Conference of States Parties, and Iceland, the first State to ratify also delivered speeches on the potential impact the Treaty can have.
“With wide acceptance and well planned implementation the Treaty will reduce arms flows to conflict regions, terrorists, pirates and other criminals. The treaty will help prevent violations of human rights, humanitarian law by use of arms against civilians and prevent gender based violence. The Treaty will foster peace, security and development.” Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland.
There were also new signatories to the ATT this week: Georgia, Namibia and Ukraine, bringing total signatures to 121.
Contributing to 50 Celebrating 50 will help us to promote the important message to governments that the ATT entering into force is a #chance2change the arms trade. We encourage everyone who has been a part of the campaign to add your voice.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin signed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) today as part of his visit to the opening of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Control Arms welcomes Ukraine joining the Treaty and urges them to begin the ratification process as soon as possible. The ATT, once ratified and implemented, will reduce the flow of weapons into – as well as out of – the country, which will ultimately help make Ukraine a safer place. Ukraine is among the top 10 arms exporters in the world and in the past, has been involved in many high-profile, controversial arms transfers, particularly to Sub-Saharan Africa. As an arms producer, and owner of a significant stockpile of weapons from Soviet days, the Ukraine also regularly plays a brokering role.
Ukraine is the 119th country to sign the ATT, with further signatories expected later this week.
Click here for more stories from the Control Arms campaign!
The Ecumenical Campaign for a Strong and Effective Arms Trade Treaty is led by the World Council of Churches. Through letter writing and in-person advocacy, the campaign has been able to express to governments in all global regions the need for a treaty with a “human scope”. It includes approximately 60 representatives of churches, related agencies and faith networks in 30 countries and highlights the important role that local religious communities can play in bringing the human condition to the negotiations for a strong and effective ATT and beyond.
Visit www.armstreatynow.org to learn more.
The United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs has just released a publication titled “Arms Trade Treaty: Signature and Ratification.” This brochure acts as a step by step guide that describes the procedures that States must follow in order to sign, ratify, accept, approve, or accede to the Arms Trade Treaty. Click here to read the full brochure.