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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”
On 18 August, Montenegro became the 44th country to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty after Ambassador Milorad Šćepanović deposited their instrument of ratification at UN headquarters.
Ambassador Šćepanović stated that ”Montenegro is honoured and proud to have deposited the instrument of ratification for the Arms Trade Treaty today, becoming the 44th country to do so. Our ratification is yet another illustration of firm commitment my country has had towards the ATT and promoting responsible arms trade throughout the world. From the beginning, Montenegro has been active supporter and advocate for ATT. We were among the first to sign the Treaty. Now that we are approaching the entry into force of the ATT, we expect that this instrument will be decisive in putting an end to uncontrolled arms trade which fuels armed conflicts, thus making the real difference in lives, livelihoods and human rights of millions of people worldwide.
Montenegro will be devoted to the full and effective implementation of the ATT as well as to upholding the principles and standards enshrined by the Treaty on a global scale. Our efforts will continue in order to make sure that the Treaty truly becomes the universal one, with as broad and effective application as possible. “
The UN’s second youngest Member State has been a strong supporter of the ATT and was among the first states to sign the agreement when it opened for signature on 3 June 2012. Throughout negotiations, Montenegro took a progressive stance on many of the criteria that made the treaty a strong instrument with the potential to save lives, including on provisions on protecting human rights, ensuring strong reporting, and including ammunition in the treaty text.
Control Arms welcomes Montenegro’s entrance into the Race to 50 and of the renewed momentum in treaty ratifications over past two weeks. Control Arms urges all countries to sign and ratify the ATT as soon as possible.
The world moved two steps closer to winning the Race to 50 in the last two days. On 11 and 12 August, the Dominican Republic and Sierra Leone respectively ratified the Arms Trade Treaty. Their ratifications bring the total number to 43, just seven short of the critical 50 that will trigger entry into force.
The Dominican Republic deposited their instrument of ratification on Monday, the latest state from Latin America and the Caribbean to do so. As a transit hub for weapons and ammunition, the Dominican Republic understands the role the Arms Trade Treaty can play in stymying weapons flows to unauthorized users. The ATT’s criteria on weapons diversion, transit, and transshipment are important to island states such as the Dominican Republic.
The following day, Sierra Leone became the fourth African country to ratify the ATT. As a country that has experienced the ravages of civil war, Sierra Leone knows the devastating impact that unregulated arms can have. Throughout negotiations, Sierra Leone was a staunch support of a treaty that would truly save lives. “If there was an ATT in existence before the outbreak of our civil war in Sierra Leone, an obligation would have compelled some countries to look at the consequences of allowing arms to cross their country borders,” said Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara, Deputy Permanent Representative at the first Diplomatic Conference on the ATT in 2012.
After depositing the instrument of ratification, Ambassador Vandi Chidi Minah said that Sierra Leone “hopes for an arms free world.”
Control Arms welcomes these ratifications and encourages all States to sign and ratify the ATT as soon as possible.
Control Arms members have been campaigning for the protection of civilians in Israel and Gaza, and an end to arms supplies that fuel atrocities. Amnesty International is calling for a UN-imposed comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups. In the absence of a UN-imposed arms embargo, Amnesty International is also calling for states to unilaterallysuspend arms transfers to Israel.
It is time for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations of international humanitarian law committed by all sides amidst Israel’s invasion of Gaza and indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups into Israel.
This week, UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon called Israeli bombing of a UN school a “criminal act” and a breach of international law. While Israel says it is targeting Hamas, the majority of casualties have been civilians.
All governments have a responsibility to adhere to international human rights and humanitarian law. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has clear prohibitions on the transfer of arms and ammunitions where there is knowledge that the weapons will be used for violations of international law, as well as obligations to assess the risk of such violations taking place. All ATT signatories should be putting this into practice, even before the treaty formally enters into force.
Signature of the Arms Trade Treaty must not be an exercise in international public relations. Signatories must adhere to the provisions of the treaty and put an immediate end to all arms transfers that fuel atrocities.