Today the Republic of Mozambique helped reach the #SprintTo100 goal by depositing its ATT instrument of ratification during a ceremony at United Nations headquarters in New York.
The commemorative event was held in the UN Office for Legal Affairs and event was introduced by Ambassador Andrejs Pildegovics of Latvia. It included statements from Ambassador Antonio Gumende of Mozambique, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, the International Committee of Red Cross, Control Arms and Ambassadors from Japan, Finland, Nigeria and Mexico, representing the four previous ATT presidencies.
Mozambique Ambassador Antonio Gumende said that “our country attaches great importance to conventional weapons control as a fundamental pillar of the framework for the realization of a disarmament agenda to promote and sustain international peace & security.”
High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu added that “The United Nations will remain unwavering in its support for the ATT”, and that the Treaty needs to be universal with all its states parties committed to complying fully with the Treaty’s provisions so it may ‘deliver on its promise’.
Control Arms campaigner Albino Forquilha, Director of the Mozambican Force for Crime Investigation and Social Reintegration (FOMICRES) said:
“Mozambique comes from a deeply destructive civil war. Arms used to pour across our borders and wreak havoc. This treaty is of great importance in the prevention of future conflicts, but also in guaranteeing public security and stability of peace itself. Mozambique should now make sure it complies fully with the provisions of this treaty. It should also encourage other countries in the southern African region to adhere to and ratify the ATT.”
Mozambique’s ratification of the ATT is a significant step in its efforts to strengthen arms control and security measures at the national and regional level. Despite not being an arms producer, Mozambique is deeply affected by the illicit trade and diversion of arms and ammunition, which have exacerbated terrorism and organized crime in the sub-region.
This is also a significant achievement for Africa as a whole, a continent where the uncontrolled flow of arms facilitates cyclical conflicts and armed violence with serious human, economic and social costs.
UN Messenger for Peace Michael Douglas, the estate of Bob Marley, Helen Mirren, Vivienne Westwood, R.E.M., Tony Robinson, Paloma Faith and James Purefoy, as well as Oxfam & Amnesty International UK, welcomed the achievement of 100 States Parties and lent their voices in support of the ATT during this momentous event, joining a chorus of activists, campaigners and diplomats who shared their reasons why the ATT is important through a #100ReasonsWhy social media campaign.
The arms trade is out of control. As a result every day, thousands of people are killed, injured, raped, or forced to flee their homes – but there’s hope. The 100th country has just joined the Arms Trade Treaty, which aims to stop arms deals that fuel suffering. I call on all governments to join this treaty and help protect lives.Michael Douglas