United Nations, New York: Survivors of armed violence from Sri Lanka, Guatemala, United States of America, Albania, Jamaica, Namibia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo presented a SURVIVOR DECLARATION in support of a strong Arms Treaty (ATT). The Declaration came amidst the ongoing negotiations this week at the United Nations in New York.
Connected by our common experience, we, victims and survivors of armed violence, have come together to join our voices to the calls of the world for an Arms Trade Treaty that will benefit all of humanity;
Disturbed by the consequences of irresponsible international transfers of weapons, which we have born witness to, in our own lives, in our families’ lives, and in our communities and countries, on a daily basis;
Motivated by the desire to work together to prevent what has happened to us from continuing to happen to others;
Inspired to see states fulfilling their collective responsibility in being proactive when addressing the humanitarian consequences of the poorly regulated international arms trade, and believing that this is the purpose of the rights and responsibilities of states as articulated in the United Nations Charter;
Certain that victims and survivors must have a voice in this process, it must be recognized that our existence is at the foundation of this negotiation and this treaty’s success;
Confident that an Arms Trade Treaty can be finalized with a strength and comprehensiveness which will become more powerful than the force of weapons, more powerful than the pressures of politics, and more powerful than the incentive of profits;
We call on all states participating in the negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty to:
Ensure that this treaty is comprehensive and effective in preventing future victims by including in its scope all conventional weapons and ammunition, all transfers and all transactions.
Hold states to account in meeting their obligations in the treaty by ensuring the existence of meaningful implementation and enforcement provisions, and commit to transparent and comprehensive reporting.
Work together in the context of international cooperation and assistance, to ensure that those who are willing and committed to implementing a strong and robust treaty have access to support and resources they need to make a comprehensive ATT a reality.
Acknowledge the rights and needs of victims and commit to assist them in recovery and rehabilitation as a fundamental human rights obligation of each state toward its own citizens and our global community’s responsibility toward each other.