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The final hurdle in our ten year fight for a strong Arms Trade Treaty

25th Mar 2013

World leaders are currently in negotiations at the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference in New York. It's clear that much more needs to be done to make sure we have a strong treaty that stops unscrupulous arms dealers and human rights abusers continuing business as usual. Here's an update on the progress of the conference from Oxfam's Lisa Rutherford.

Take our action and help make sure the conference results in a strong Arms Trade Treaty. 

It's Sunday night in New York, the eve of the last four days of the final United Nations Arms Trade Treaty conference. At the end of last week, we received the second draft of the Treaty and it didn't make for good reading. Coming into the negotiations, the Control Arms campaign had identified crucial loopholes in the text that had to be closed. After a week of country statements, hard advocacy and hours of plenary, we saw that many loopholes still remained.

As we head into the second week, there is still much to be positive about. I am with the Control Arms coalition, made up of campaigners and advisers from across the globe. They are working around the clock to be as strategic and impactful as possible before the final Treaty text is delivered on Wednesday. We have dozens of supportive, progressive governments who support the strongest possible Treaty. They are standing up to the might of the sceptics and speaking up for their citizens who continue to die in their thousands every single day because of armed violence.

Millions of brave, fearless people around the world have led us to this point today. The idea of a global Arms Trade Treaty was supported by just three countries in the very beginning. At that point, it seemed absurd that this desperately needed Treaty could ever be anything but fanciful. Yet here we are, with 193 countries at the United Nations on the cusp of delivering a Treaty that could still transform the unregulated arms trade and help reduce the human suffering caused by conflict and armed violence. The photo on the left shows the delegates packed into the conference room at the UN. They are only here because civil society, supporters and NGOs launched the campaign for a global Arms Trade Treaty and, despite all the odds, they did not give up.

We have come too far to give up now and we will continue to push for the strongest possible Treaty text. 

Please take action to make sure the world doesn't have accept a watered-down Arms Trade Treaty. Share this with everyone that you know. Now is the time to finish the job and deliver an historic Arms Trade Treaty.