- Meeting between Michael Moore MP and David Grimason to convey Scots' support for Arms Trade Treaty
- Event taking place ahead of historic UN negotiations for first global Arms Trade Treaty
Scottish Arms Control Campaigner, David Grimason, Amnesty International Scotland and Oxfam Scotland, will meet with the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, today (Thursday 21st June) to ensure that the Scottish people's message of support for a robust Arms Trade Treaty is conveyed to the UK Government ahead of July's UN negotiations.
David Grimason, who has pushed for tighter controls on the arms trade since his two year old son Alistair was shot and killed in a Turkish cafe in July 2003, will talk to the Secretary of State for Scotland about his experiences of nearly a decade of campaigning for an Arms Trade Treaty. David will also present Michael Moore MP with a collection of photography books, produced by Scottish students as part of Amnesty Scotland's Arms Trade Treaty campaign.
David Grimason said:
"The people of Scotland have campaigned for a bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty for nearly a decade, as have I. We are now on the brink of achieving this goal and preventing the devastation which an unregulated and irresponsible arms trade causes to so many families around the world, including here in Scotland.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to really make a difference to the lives of so many and we need the UK Government to continue to ensure that people's lives are put ahead of profit and that there is no compromise at the UN negotiations in July. We need a treaty which protects the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children around the world. We have one chance to get this right, we must not squander it."
The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, said:
"I am happy to be able to meet the Amnesty and Oxfam campaigners today and listen to what they have to say. The UK Government supports the development of an international Arms Trade Treaty and has led from the front since the beginning on this issue. We continue to call for a robust, legally-binding and comprehensive treaty that will help make the world a safer place. The UK already operates one of the most stringent defence export control systems in the world, and securing a global Arms Trade Treaty is a priority for the Government. We will be working towards securing agreement and consensus at the negotiations."
Shabnum Mustapha, Programme Director for Amnesty International in Scotland, said:
"Amnesty welcomes the support of the Secretary of State for Scotland, Mike Moore MP, for an international Arms Trade Treaty. It is mind-boggling that we have international treaties for items such as bananas, dinosaur bones and postage stamps; but when it comes to weapons and the horrific impact that an unregulated arms trade has on so many right around the globe, there is nothing.
"I hope the UK Government continues to show strong leadership at the upcoming UN negotiations for an arms trade treaty and to resist attempts by other countries to weaken it. 1,500 people killed every day from armed violence around the world is unacceptable and must stop."
Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said:
"David Grimason has a powerful story to tell and his personal tragedy is repeated many thousands of times in different forms across the world. It is crucial the UK Government hears such experiences and continues to push for the strongest possible treaty.
"No weapons transfers should be allowed if there is a substantial risk they may be used for serious violations of international human rights or humanitarian law, or when it may impair poverty reduction.
"There remains a strong risk that the desire for compromise leads to a weakening of the treaty agreed - the UK must do everything it can during the United Nations' talks to ensure that doesn't happen."
The meeting is being held in advance of the UN negotiations in New York on the 2nd of July, where UN member states will meet to negotiate the world's first global Arms Trade Treaty.
Amnesty and Oxfam as part of the Control Arms coalition are calling for a treaty based on a simple principle: no transfers of weapons which are likely to be used for violations of international law. Every day, 1,500 people die because of the irresponsible sales of arms. The current poor regulations on arms trades allow these weapons to fall into the wrong hands, where they can be used to fuel conflict, poverty and human rights violations. A robust treaty would quite literally save millions of lives each year.