Fighting for an Arms Trade Treaty at the UN General Assembly

Posted by Kate Hughes

5th Oct 2012

Fake tombstones are placed along the East River by members of the Control Arms Coalition to coincide with a diplomatic conference on the future Arms Trade Treaty in New York.  They are calling on the over 190 countries present to agree a strong global agreement that will bring the arms trade under control. July 24, 2012.  Andrew Kelly

I'm in New York, helping co-ordinate our plans with Control Arms Coalition colleagues, on the eve of the UN General Assembly First Committee (which deals with disarmament). Two months have passed since the end of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) conference, where world governments came so close to agreeing a treaty that would regulate the global arms trade, and it is time to renew pressure to push for the work to be completed.

2,000 people are still dying every day due to armed violence and thousands of lives and livelihoods are being destroyed by conflict. For the last decade, Control Arms has campaigned hard for a strong, bulletproof treaty that will ease the suffering caused by irresponsible transfers of arms and ammunition.

The UNGA First Committee will run until 6th November and we are calling on governments to agree the way forward to improving the current draft Treaty text and getting it adopted.

We will be working with supportive states, civil society and allies to keep the pressure on and drive the campaign forward in the next four weeks. The majority of states want to see a strong ATT achieved, and it is their voices, not the minority who may wish to delay or weaken the text, that need to be heard. This treaty is too important for any one government to be able to veto.

There is a renewed optimism in the air and I feel proud to be in the thick of things as colleagues arrive from around the world to support the next stage of the campaign to deliver the strongest treaty possible.

We will be regularly updating our campaigns team as the UNGA progresses and will be ready to launch into action if needed. It's incredible to sit in New York and see the support back in the UK - your campaigning is making a real impact and we will not stop until the treaty becomes a reality.

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