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We can win an international Arms Trade Treaty.

After over 10 years of campaigning we are at the edge of making history. Join the Control Arms campaign and keep up the pressure on governments to agree a bullet proof arms trade treaty.

2013 is the make or break year. This is what we want:

• no arms that contribute to human rights abuses
• no arms that contribute to war crimes
• no arms that keep people in poverty
• yes for global regulation of the arms trade

You can join the campaign by signing up below, and “liking” us on facebook.com/controlarms. Tell your friends to join us too by sharing a short tamen like this with your friends:

“I’m calling on governments to agree an #armstreaty to prevent arms fuelling human suffering. Join us: http://www.facebook.com/ControlArms

NEED HELP?

Thousands of people are killed, injured, raped, and forced to flee from their homes as a result of the unregulated global arms trade. The Control Arms campaign is a global civil society alliance that has advocated for a bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty for over a decade. Made up of over 100 charity, nonprofit, and nongovernmental groups throughout the world, Control Arms continues to strive for a world where deadly weapons are kept out of the wrong hands through a regulated arms trade.

In October, Control Arms together with Pace University will host a weekend event for global civil society working in the area of disarmament and arms control. This year’s theme will be Gender and Disarmament.  Click here to learn more about “The Forum” and register today!

Entry Into Force Tracker

 

54 Ratifications

121 Signatures

 

It’s time to Focus on Gender!

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 WeaponsStop 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.

The Race to 50 is won! Check out our “50 Celebrating 50” webpages

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 EnglishSpanish 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.

 

Amidst armed conflict, Ukraine becomes 119th signatory to the ATT

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.

Mexico takes lead on next stage of treaty implementation

Informal consultations on the Arms Trade Treaty’s First Conference of States Parties (CSP) were held in Mexico City from 9 – 10 September. The two day meeting was attended by over 70 signatory and ratifying governments from around the world and marked the first step in a preparatory process that will determine how the First CSP will operate. The CSP will be critical in ensuring that the ATT is implemented to a high standard and has a real impact on the ground for the millions facing the dire consequences of conflict and armed violence around the world.

Civil society that has been actively promoting the ATT were also invited to attend, and 22 representatives from across the Control Arms Coalition participated, contributing ideas and perspectives to the meeting.

Dr. Bob Mtonga, speaking for Control Arms stressed the need for strong implementation of the treaty saying “the success of this Treaty will be judged by the lives saved. It is therefore essential that it is implemented to the highest possible standard and that a new, very strong, global norm is established that makes transfers that violate the Treaty’s provisions are unacceptable.” Irma Pérez-Gil stressed the importance of provisional application of Articles 6 and 7 by those governments who have already ratified, before the Treaty enters into force. Other colleagues spoke on the need for effective decision making structures, fair and efficient financing mechanisms and a Secretariat that will enable strong implementation of the ATT.

ATT Legal also provided two papers which analyze the rules of procedure of other Conferences of States Parties with regard to decision making and participation. You can see the papers here.

Control Arms welcomes the informal consultations as a productive first step toward the CSP and calls on all government who have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible. 50 ratifications are expected to be achieved during the UN General Assembly Ministerial Week later in September.

Photo credit: Fundación Arias para La Paz y Progresso Humano

Humanity’s most beautiful cause

In 2003 when the Control Arms Campaign was launched, Costa Rica was the first country to support the idea of an Arms Trade Treaty. Today, President Luis Guillermo Solís delivers a message in support of the final stages of the Race to 50.  With just 5 countries needed to ratify before the 50 mark is reached, President Solís urges all countries to sign and ratify as soon as possible to help enable “humanity’s most beautiful cause, the achievement of peace”.

Click here for more stories from the Control Arms campaign!

THUNDERCLAP

A Step by Step Guide to Signing and Ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty

 

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.

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SPOTLIGHT

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.

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