Morning commuters and delegates arriving for the the Fourth Conference of States Parties to the ATT in Tokyo, Japan were met this morning by campaigners holding “Missing” posters, illustrating real-life cases of weapons that have been diverted into the illicit trade.

They called on delegates attending CSP 2018 to take immediate action and stop the diversion of weapons, which are fueling poverty, conflict and human rights abuses worldwide, and being used by organised criminals and terrorists. The theme of the CSP is diversion.

Campaigners have also been taking the posters around Tokyo to iconic sites, and will be sharing photos throughout the week on social media.

Control Arms opening press conference featured representatives of Amnesty International, Women for Peace and Development, and Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, highlighting expectations for the coming week and calling on States Parties to immediately cease all arms transfers that violate the ATT.

Ali Jameel, who has travelled from Yemen to directly call on governments to stop the arms transfers that are fueling the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in his country, described some of the devastation taking place. “American, British, German and Italian bombs have been dropped on our civilians for more than four years now” he said. “The point of the ATT is to reduce human suffering. I want to ask governments directly to live up to this.” Please find here the Press Release. [available in Japanese here]. 

The Opening Panel of the CSP  included speeches by the Foreign Minister of Japan Mr. Fumio Kishida, the Under-Secretary-General and UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu , Dr Helen Durham of  ICRC, and Shobha Pradhan Shrestha of Women for Peace and Security, Nepal representing Control Arms.

Telling two powerful stories of survivors from Nepal and Yemen, Shobha Pradhan Shrestha reminded the conference that “We owe it to Hussein, to Sunita, and to the millions of girls, boys, women and men that are suffering in Yemen, Nepal and many other countries around the world to stop this. We owe them more than our sympathy. We owe them our action.” She also stressed to governments that civil society “will keep campaigning to stop arms transfers to all warring parties in Yemen. And we will keep campaigning for the ATT to be effectively implemented. We call on you as governments to stop the transfer of all weapons that fuel senseless suffering.”