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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”
“As you take to the vote, think of the mothers who live in continuous fear that rebels, terrorists, or militant gangs will attack their homes and steal, abuse, rape, kidnap their children, and sell into slavery their daughters. Think of the displaced, of religious minorities running for their lives; of the elderly and the disabled who simply can’t run. Think of the children, as young as six or eight, barely able to hold a gun, scared, brainwashed, and forced to maim, torture, and kill in order to live.”
Lithuania Ambassador Murmokaitė introduced the voting for a resolution on the impact of small arms and light weapons (SALW) on the morning of 22 May 2015 with this passionate plea. After months of agenda setting, debate, and negotiations, the United Nations Security Council adopted the resolution with 9 votes in favor, zero opposed, and 6 abstentions. The resolution is the second thematic agreement of its kind, building on a resolution passed in 2013 led by Australia.
The weeks before the resolution featured debates on several key issue areas around the impact of the proliferation and misuse of small arms. The result of these discussions were advancements in language on the Arms Trade Treaty, gender, integrations with peacekeeping operations, and responsibility to protect. However, at the time of the vote, disagreements remained on the issue of non-state actors. This was the reason for abstentions by the three African members of the council, Nigeria, Chad, and Angola, who argued that the supply of arms to non-state actors is a threat to international security, and highlighted arms flows to forces like Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, and Al Shabab. However, among the Permanent Members of the Security Council, the US, UK and France would not accept the specific term “non-state actors,” arguing that references to terrorists and criminal networks was sufficient. New Zealand lamented that “the issue had become a victim of a politicized debate” and felt that delegations on both sides could have focused more on finding a compromise.
It is commendable that in their role as Security Council President, Lithuania chose to make the devastating impact of small arms and light weapons a priority. They worked to move forward with this resolution, ultimately cosponsored by 56 governments, that raises the bar in the bar in the ongoing effort to reduce the human cost of small arms and light weapons.
Control Arms welcomes the adoption of the resolution and calls on all governments to act on its provisions, renewing theirs efforts to reduce the misuse and illicit trade in small arms.
Barbados and Dominica have become the 68th and 69th countries to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty. Their ratifications guarantee them full decision making powers at the First Conference of States Parties and will bring the total number of CARICOM States Parties to 12. All CARICOM governments have signed the Treaty. With the deadline to become a State Party before the First Conference of States Parties passing today, the stage is now set for the CSP where critical ATT decisions will be made.
Folade Mutota of the Caribbean Coalition for Development and Reduction of Armed Violence welcomed the strong support from her region, saying “we are proud that now all 14 members of Caricom have joined the ATT, and 12 have ratified.”
Nearly one week ago, Karamoko Diakite addressed the UN Security Council as part of an open debate on small arms and light weapons. He spoke on behalf of global civil society and the countless victims of armed violence around the world. His powerful story was accompanied by a call to action that urged Council members to adopted a resolution on small arms that built on previous efforts and strengthened language on the Arms Trade Treaty.
While many governments praised his courage and thanked him for his rousing statement, they have struggled to find enough common ground to adopt the resolution. Karamoko has returned home to Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa, but upon hearing the difficulties faced in the Security Council, sent this message to diplomats in New York:
Excellencies, Last week I had the honour of meeting many of you when I came to the UN Security Council to present on behalf of civil society. I told you about my own experiences of living with the scourge of armed violence, fueled by the flood of small arms and light weapons into my country and my region. And I appealed to you to act, to use your collective power to ensure the robust implementation of arms control measures that can help to reduce this terrible humanitarian situation that affects not just my community, but many across the world. This week you have the opportunity to act on a new resolution, that calls for such action. On behalf of global civil society and those impacted by armed violence, I call on you all to support this resolution.