1 November, 2013
Today at the United Nations General Assembly First Committee, States overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that encourages further action in support of the landmark Arms Trade Treaty. The resolution passed with zero votes against, signaling the high level of support the Treaty enjoys.
The Arms Trade Treaty currently has 114 signatories, including the United States, and 8 ratifications.
Significantly, China, who abstained when the ATT was adopted in April this year, voted “yes” to the ATT resolution. In explaining their vote, China declared that they had “no substantive issues with the content of the treaty” and are “seriously considering signing the treaty.” This is an important breakthrough for the world’s 5th largest arms exporter.
Anna Macdonald, co-chair of the Control Arms Coalition, said:
“It is very encouraging that the ATT has been so high profile during this year’s First Committee, as confirmed by this vote in favour of encouraging signature and ratification. 50 ratifications are needed for the Treaty to enter into force and become legally binding, and with this level of momentum, we expect this to happen next year.
“Now we have the words on the paper, we need the action on the ground. Countries must now focus their efforts on ensuring effective implementation of the treaty so it can fulfill its core purpose of saving lives, and stop irresponsible arms transfers that fuel conflicts and armed violence around the world.”
Notes: The ATT resolution was approved with 141 votes in favour, zero against and 28 abstentions. The number of “yes” votes is expected to rise when the UNGA does a re-confirmation vote on all resolutions in December.
Read full release here.
Anna Macdonald, Oxfam’s Head of Arms Control, said:
“We see some improvements have been made since the last draft was issued but there are still some important problems with the new text.
“The scope of what would be covered in the treaty is still too narrow. We need a treaty that covers all conventional weapons, not just some of them. The criteria by which governments assess whether to authorize an arms transfer also need to be unambiguous.
“There are 24 hours to go before the end of this conference. The 103 states who so clearly said on Monday they wanted a strong text must not give up. They must spend the remaining time we have ensuring we get a robust treaty agreed tomorrow.
“We need to have a treaty that will send a clear message to human rights abusers and dictators that their time is up. We need a treaty that will make a difference to the lives of the people living in Congo, Mali, Syria and elsewhere who suffer each day from the impacts of armed violence.”
LOUIS BELANGER | Humanitarian Media Officer Oxfam International Cell +1 917 224 0834 Twitter: https://twitter.com/louis_press
Click here to view the Latest Text by the Chair of the ATT Conference
Military Helicopter on a New York rooftop
Photocall to highlight the need for a robust Arms Trade Treaty
A 20ft long camouflage military-style helicopter will be built by Control Arms campaigners on a Long Island rooftop, overlooking the river and the UN.
Control Arms – a global civil society campaign coalition of over 100 organizations – will be staging this photo opportunity on the penultimate day of historic negotiations at the UN Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty. With one day of the negotiations left, governments still have time to do the right thing and agree a robust treaty with strong human rights and humanitarian protections.
Under the current draft of the treaty, some helicopters will not be covered – for example military helicopters, including those that can be weaponized, carry troops, or have machine guns fired out of the doors.
The photocall starts at 8.30am, when campaigners will put together the final sections of the helicopter – including the rockets and rotor blades.
WHEN: Wednesday, 27 March 2013, 8:30am
WHERE: Attic Studios, 11-05 44th Road, 3rd floor, Long Island City, NY
WHO: Arms control experts and activists from the Control Arms Coalition
For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Louis Belanger, +1-917-224-0834, email@example.com
Conor Fortune, +44-7432633678, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York March 25: Control Arms coalition calls on Chair not to cave in as new text falls short
Pressures from India and the P5 make out for a water down text of the new Draft Treaty
Major changes have to be made to the lastest draft of the Arms Trade Treaty if it is to save lives. This new draft text falls short of what the majority of Member States demanded, with this draft text likely being influenced by the exporting countries. Oxfam’s Head of Arms Control Anna Macdonald said: “The Chair of the Conference has a stark choice to make. He can side with a handful of countries watering down the text or with the majority representing countless people suffering each day from the unregulated arms trade.”
New York – July 27: Battle for an Arms Trade Treaty continues as Governments opt to delay final deal
Lack of Political Courage by Major Players Blamed for Delay in Negotiations
The fight to end the illegal and irresponsible arms trade goes on after delegates at the United Nations failed to reach consensus and agree an Arms Trade Treaty, say campaigners. The Control Arms coalition says the lack of agreement on a final text was disappointing but not the end of the story.
New York – July 25: African states must resist pressure and hold firm for a robust Arms Trade Treaty
African states are key to ensure ammunition and small arms are included in treaty
Until now, African states have played a key role in calling for a strong Arms Trade Treaty. With just three days to go on the treaty negotiations, campaigners are calling on Africa to hold firm and resist any pressure to cave in on key issues like ammunition.
New York- July 23: Arms Trade Treaty hanging in the balance as negotiations enter final phase
France and UK urged not to cave in to US pressure
Efforts to end the irresponsible and poorly-regulated international arms trade are at risk of failure, as negotiations at the United Nations enter a critical final week, campaigners warned today.
New York- July 17: Negotiations are running a week behind schedule. Arms Trade Treaty under threat
Control Arms Campaigners warn time is running out and call on states to act now
After an opening week, characterized by procedural delays and wrangling, this past week delegates finally got down to content discussions. However they still do not have the basis for negotiation on most of the key elements of the treaty.
New York- July 12 President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate calls for a robust Arms Trade Treaty
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate calls for a robust Arms Trade Treaty
In a passionate appeal to governments negotiating an Arms Trade Treaty at the United Nations until the 27th July, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia called on them to “make history in the next few days and change the world for the better.”
New York- July 2: Artists write to UN leader Ban Ki-moon on “a matter of life and death
Artists write to UN leader Ban Ki-moon on “a matter of life and death”
International artists including Keira Knightley, Yoko Ono, Scarlett Johansson, Coldplay, Tim Roth, Annie Lennox and Kevin Spacey have joined forces to demand governments take immediate action to help improve regulation of the international arms trade.
New York- July 2: Historic arms trade negotiations a chance to prevent future Syrian-style slaughter
Time to end ‘body bag’ approach to arms control and support a robust Arms Trade Treaty
Political leaders have a historic opportunity to place human rights and humanitarian aims above self-interest and profit when final negotiations to regulate the global arms trade begin today at the United Nations, campaigners from across the world said.