New York – Talks that have been taking place all week at the UN on a global
treaty to regulate the arms trade are in danger of derailment over
disagreement on procedure.

Diplomats have been trying to agree the rules of procedure for a month-long
negotiation conference scheduled to take place in July 2012 where an Arms
Trade Treaty regulating the international transfer of arms will be agreed.
Deadlock has developed over the rules for decision-making and on the degree
of access for civil society in the final conference.

“The arms trade is out of control, and today it seems like diplomacy is as
well” said Oxfam’s Anna Macdonald. “This is a crucial treaty that can save
lives and livelihoods and it is essential that governments move on from
issues of process and get on to agreeing the substance of the Treaty.”

In 2009 153 governments voted in favour of developing the Arms Trade
Treaty, with only one no vote. The will of this majority who want to see
the arms trade brought under control must not be thwarted by a minority set on delaying and confusing the process.”

– Jeff Abramson, Coordinator of the Control Arms Coalition.

The main sticking point is between countries that interpret consensus as
giving every country the right to veto the end result, and those who
interpret it to mean broad agreement amongst a large majority.

Over the last few weeks, the world has seen the damage that veto power can do in undermining the international community’s ability to prevent conflict. In order for the
ATT to save lives, there must not be any veto’s in the July negotiations.

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