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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”
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
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”.
New Zealand has become the 45th country to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty and put the world in a prime position to realize entry into force within the year. Ambassador Jim McLay had the honor of depositing the instrument of ratification on behalf of his country at UN headquarters on 2 September.
New Zealand was among the most supportive advocates of the ATT and fought to ensure the strongest treaty possible during the negotiation process.
New Zealand’s ratification coincides with a visit by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to New Zealand. On this occasion Foreign Minister Murray McCully commented that the ATT was a major step forward in global efforts to reduce the harm caused by the illicit arms trade.
New Zealand is now the third member of the Pacific to ratify the treaty after ratifications by Australia and Samoa earlier in 2014. Minister McCully commented that not only had New Zealand supported the Treaty from its inception, but it had developed a model law to assist Pacific states, and small states in other regions, to implement the Treaty. The Minister also noted that, once in force, it was hoped the Treaty would prevent the the transfer of arms that may be used to commit genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.
President of Parliamentarians for Global Action, and New Zealand Member of Parliament, Ross Robertson says his country can play a significant role in bolstering the treaty participation of other countries in the region, telling a meeting of diplomats, politicians and officials at the New Zealand Parliament: “Since World War Two, over 40 million people have died in wars. Ongoing events in Syria, Ukraine and Iraq continue to highlight the real urgency in making the ATT a robust reality at the earliest opportunity” He called on the government to share it’s legislation widely among UN member states, and in particular with neighboring states in the Pacific islands.”
With the total number of Arms Trade Treaty ratifications now at 45, the world is set to win the Race to 50, and earn the chance to change the global arms trade forever.