Amnesty campaigners want bulletproof arms trade treaty

June 20, 2012
Amnesty members collect signatures on a global arms trade treaty petition. Salamanca markets, Hobart, June 16.

Members of Amnesty International Australia’s Tasmania City Group dressed as bananas and collected signatures on a global petition to help launch Amnesty’s Arms Trade Treaty campaign on June 16 at the Salamanca markets in Hobart.

There is no international standard to regulate the global trade and transfers of conventional arms.

Amnesty Tasmania City Group’s Yabbo Thompson said: “There are complicated rules on the international trade of many products, such as bananas, but no global treaty controlling weapons or bullets.

“However, thanks to years of campaigning by grassroots activists and civil society groups from around the world, including Amnesty International, the United Nations has agreed to discuss what an effective arms trade treaty could look like — one that would require governments to properly regulate the trade of weapons.”

In July, 193 Member States of the UN will meet in New York to negotiate and vote on the treaty. Amnesty is calling for a treaty that includes human rights protection at its core.

“With one person killed every minute by armed conflict and armed violence, plus many more injured, raped or forced to flee their homes, we must not let this historic opportunity pass us by,” Thompson said.

“We need to take action now to ensure that all governments around the world commit to establishing an Arms Trade Treaty that effectively prevents arms from fuelling serious human rights abuses or war crimes.”

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