#armstreaty - it's time to get down to business
It's hard to describe how I'm feeling right now. But I'll try.
Nervous. Prepared. Raring to go. Hot (it's 34degrees in New York City right now...)
The journey we've been on together to get here has been a long one but we are now on the eve of UN negotiations for the first ever international Arms Trade Treaty.
Ten years ago we thought it was a pipe dream but today – thanks to survivors of armed violence, parliamentarians, former military chiefs, British Industry, UK Government and people like you around the world – it’s a reality.
A decade might sound like a long time but when you are working on something like this it’s fast track!
What we've all been up to - and why
Last week I found myself driving around London on an armoured tank delivering our campaign message to embassies of five countries whose stance could be crucial in the negotiations.
Doing so confirmed for me (as if more confirmation than the incredible work you all do every day was needed) that people on the street care about issues like how the arms trade is regulated, that people on the street, once informed about an issue are prepared to do something about it.
Watch this short video to find out exactly what happened on the day we took a tank to powerful world governments.
We’ve all done this because the world needs an Arms Trade Treaty - we need a legally binding set of international standards that say its not ok to sell weapons to dictators and war-lords, that it's not ok to turn a blind eye, or even worse, facilitate the continued repression of innocent civilians.
My colleague Olly Sprague has been working on the arms trade for 18 years, you can follow him on twitter @ollysprague to keep up with all that's happening at the UN. I'm @veritycoyle and between us we'll be your people in the room.
From working with 150 young activists to lobby Minister Alastair Burt, to driving the tank (did you like the video?) round London, I'm privileged to be part of the Amnesty team delivering work on the Arms Trade Treaty.
But we wouldn't have got this far without you, so my request today is that you all join the control arms Facebook group as this will be our fastest way to communicate with you during the negotiations.
We’ll need you if we are going to hold the UK Government to a strong position and ensure they don’t compromise on human rights. The world needs an Arms Trade Treaty that is strong and comprehensive. There’s no wiggle room - The stakes are simply too high.
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.