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Two days left to make a strong treaty

Posted by Rachel George Digital Campaigns Manager

25th Jul 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
by Lisa Rutherford, UK Campaigns Manager, Oxfam GB in New York City

There are now just two days to go at the UN Arms Trade Treaty negotiations in New York and the draft text, which we received for the first time yesterday, is currently riddled with loopholes. But we're not ones to back down from a challenge! Whilst the policy team work through the night to assess the text and work to build delegate support to strengthen it, the campaigns team are on the ground tirelessly campaigning.

In the last 24 hours they've focused on media, so yesterday saw an intrepid group of campaigners hire a van and drive to Brooklyn, to stage a photograph with fake gravestones that had been specially made the day before. Each one carried the message '2000 people killed by arms every day' - a stark reminder of why a strong, global Arms Trade Treaty needs to be agreed this week.

This morning, the team set up a similar stunt with over 30 "gravestones" situated opposite the UN building. Camera crews then interviewed Scottish dad David Grimason, whose son Alistair was just two years old when he was shot dead during a holiday in Turkey in 2003.

David came to New York, originally to attend the first week of conference, but has stayed for the whole month. He said, "I have been involved with the Control Arms campaign for the past 9 years and when I arrived, I knew that I had to stay. It was so important to me to be here and be able to speak to delegates so I could to try and play my part in securing an effective treaty."

David was photographed with a picture of Alistair, as he stood amongst the gravestones. "We have just two days left to strengthen the text - ammunition and all conventional weapons have to be included so countries can't operate outside of it. There just can't be any loopholes - otherwise it will prove deadly."

Take action: email the UK government >

View photos of our media stunts on Flickr >

Blog post written by Rachel George

Digital Campaigns Manager

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Rachel George