As part of the “100 Days of Speaking Out!”, a countdown to the treaty negotiations, Control Arms will regularly feature stories and profiles of different people who support a bulletproof ATT.

Participants of a World Council of Churches conference on the Arms Trade Treaty took to the streets of Cape Town, South Africa yesterday. They distributed bananas and information to outside of the Methodist Central Church while collecting signatures on the global petition for the ATT. Most of the people they spoke with were astonished that the global trade in bananas is more regulated than the global trade in arms.

The stunt was part of a three day conference convened by the Council to strengthen their Ecumenical Campaign for an ATT in advance of the July negotiations. Their campaign works in parallel with Control Arms while emphasizing the ‘human scope’ of an ATT. Participants provided updates on their governments’ positions while also sharing stories and information about the real effects of the arms trade. Over the next two months, they will mobilize through advocacy and outreach, as well as continue to support the Interfaith Declaration.

More than 20 religious leaders and staff from faith-based organizations participated in the meeting, representing around 15 countries and several denominations. It was supported by the Economic Justice Network and the South African Council of Churches. Mrs. Ebun James, previously featured on the Control Arms site, also attended as did Mrs. Nomfundo Walaza, CEO of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre South Africa. Several other South African members and partners were present including Joseph Dube of IANSA, the Institute for Security Studies, and Activist. The conference also benefited from the active participation of Terry Crawford-Browne, a noted South African activist and critic of South African arms deals.

Additional photos of the event are available here.

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