Arms Treaty: keep the UK Government on track and #askFCO

Update, 5.15pm: Thanks for sending your questions to Minister Burt. He gave some very welcome answers, including confirming that the UK Government wants to strengthen the human rights protections in the Treaty. He also said that ammunition and safeguards against gender-based violence are key. 

However, Minister Burt also confirmed that the UK's 'Plan A' is to reach a consensus on the Arms Trade Treaty - to produce a Treaty to which no state objects. Whilst we'd like to see consensus with all states supporting a strong Treaty we are a little concerned that they may agree to a weaker treaty to ensure that the US or Russia get on board. And that won't save lives. So please keep emailing your MP, reiterate how important you think a strong Arms Trade Treaty is and that the UK must stand firm on human rights

 

We've just a few days left to get these points across before the negotiations begin

In less than two weeks the world's governments are back at the UN for the final round of negotiations to agree the first international Arms Trade Treaty. By this time next month, we could have  taken a major step towards keeping weapons out of the hands of dictators and warlords using them to commit human rights abuses. Together, we could make history.

The UK Government could be a champion of a strong, effective treaty, or they could be the broker of a weak Arms Trade Treaty, full of loopholes human rights abusers could use to their advantage. Last week, thousands of you emailed and tweeted your MPs asking them to ensure the UK stands firm on human rights. Great news – it looks like your voices are being heard!

Alistair Burt, the minister responsible for the Treaty, has announced a Twitter Q&A tomorrow afternoon, focusing solely on the arms trade and the UK's position at the UN talks.

Help us show Minister Burt the Treaty is crucial - ask your questions from 4.30pm

This is a great opportunity for us to quiz the Minister directly, and confirm that the UK Government will continue to champion an Arms Trade Treaty that protects human rights. We need you to join us and push for a strong Treaty.

We're going to be asking him if the UK Government will resist any attempts to water down the human rights protections in the draft Treaty, and that they support a Treaty even if countries like the US attempt to veto it.

You could ask

  • If the UK will fight to keep all weapons covered by the Treaty, including ammunition (which the US would prefer excluded)
  • How the UK will make sure that the negotations don't end in a weak treaty, full of loopholes human rights abusers could use to their advantage
  • What will they do if some skeptical governments, like Russia, Algeria or Syria, attempt to veto the Treaty?
  • What key improvements the UK wants to see to the draft Treaty on the table now.

We'll be following his answers during the Q&A, so follow @amnestyUK and #askFCO to see our take on his responses. And if you haven't yet, push your MP to get behind a strong Arms Trade Treaty that saves lives.

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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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