Why Hillarys plans could help arm the 'dissidents'

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Belfast yesterday urging politicians and people to keep moving forward to peace.

Speaking to a full house at the Northern Ireland Assembly, she noted “that there are still those looking to seize any opportunity to undermine the process, and to destabilize this government.”

Further, she “pledge[d] that the United States will be behind you all the way, as you work toward peace and stability that lasts."
 
Yet, meanwhile we know that she and the US State Department are hard at work twisting arms to wreck a UN Treaty which could help stem the flow of arms to dissident groups in Northern Ireland.

Eight million small arms and light weapons are manufactured every year. Each year, one million of those weapons are “lost” or “stolen”. Many of them end up in the hands of criminals and human rights abusers. Some of them end up in the hands of paramilitaries in Northern Ireland determined “to undermine the process, and to destabilize this government.”

‘Dissident’ groups in Northern Ireland, like the Real IRA, have – allegedly -  been busy trying to pick up arms on the global black market from Croatia to Lithuania to France.

In part, it’s this global black market in legally manufactured arms, that the Treaty-in-making, the UN Arms Trade Treaty, is designed to tackle. Amnesty and other campaign groups are calling for a global, legally binding treaty to stop weapons being used to fuel conflict, poverty and human rights abuses.

Most countries are in favour – especially those in the global South at the sharp end of the arms trade. Yet the United States, the world’s largest arms exporter, has always been opposed, whether under Bush or (Nobel Peace Prize winning) Obama. The UN process has gathered enough support from elsewhere to continue.

Now, however, Hillary Clinton’s State Department seems to be trying to wreck the Treaty by amending the process to give every country a veto over progress, rather than working by majority vote as has been the case to date. More info on Yule E's blog.

A Clinton success could mean a derailed process and an unregulated arms trade continuing unabated… with deadly results in Northern Ireland.

You can help stop Hillary's plans to wreck the Arms Trade Treaty. Here's how.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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