Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

Demanding tighter control on arms sales - what you've been up to

As negotiations begin in New York and world leaders meet to thrash out the first ever international treaty to control the arms trade, we thought it'd be nice to recap on all the amazing work you've been doing across the country.

You have done everything in your power to ensure the UK government is committed to securing a bullet proof Arms Trade Treaty - and that they don't compromise on human rights.

First up, hello! You have ensured that almost no MP in this country is oblivious to the negotiations. And die-ins around the country mean few of us ordinary folk are either.

School and university students hit Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt with some killer facts and killer questions ensuring he heads off to the negotiations knowing we don't want just any Treaty, we want The Treaty - one that protects human rights and saves lives.

I mention this last but there is no hierarchy here - an incredible 17,667 of you signed the petition calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to make a committment that the UK government will not compromise on human rights in the negotiations. And then we drove a tank to Downing Street to hand it in.

OK, so he didn't quite give the statement we wanted but Cameron did say some pretty encouraging stuff

This is all great, but as a wise man once said, it ain't over til it's over - and we still need your help

To stay up-to-date throughout the negotiations and be the first to know when we need you to act fast, like the control arms facebook page now

MPs get behind our campaign

Check out this map - it's almost entirely pink. And not just because it's one of our favourite colours. It's because, in person or by email, you have contacted nearly every single MP in the UK.

What's more, many of them became proud Arms Trade Treaty champions, agreeing to write to David Cameron to ensure he took notice. Meanwhile, 44 MPs and three Peers came to our Parliament photo session to pledge their support.

Coming to a high street near you

It wasn't just MPs having their picture taken, our groups around the country found a new use for strawberry jam, ketchup and any other red substance available as they flooded the streets of the UK with what they've delightfully termed die-ins.

Confused? Watch this slideshow and you'll get the idea.

Shocking stuff to come across when you've just popped out for a pint of milk but no more shocking than the fact that one person dies every minute as a result of the unregulated arms trade. Help us secure the Arms Trade Treaty that the world desperately needs - like the Control Arms facebook page

Back to top

The 'yoof' of today... are amazing!

Under two weeks before the beginning of negotiations and we headed to Westminster with 150 school and unversity students for a day of campaigning on the arms trade, culminating in a Q&A with FCO Minister Alistair Burt.

They might look friendly but when it came to asking questions, this crowd was tough. Watch them in action:

Want more? Watch all the videos from the day | Read our live blog

Back to top

Tanks a lot (sorry)

With over 17,000 signatures collected we thought that your petition deserved attention. Teaming up with colleagues from the Control Arms coalition - including Oxfam and Safer World - we hired a tank to take our campaign message to the streets of London. See what we got up to

Amnesty and Oxfam campaigners hand in a petition to Prime Minister David Cameron, calling for tougher controls on the arms trade

We then headed off to number 10 to hand the petition in and send Prime Minister David Cameron a powerful message: no compromise on human rights in the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations.

Guess what? That very same day he made a statement in Parliament.

Back to top

The Prime Minister responds

Answering a question on the Arms Trade Treaty in Parliament the Prime Minister said that his government ‘back the Arms Trade Treaty’ and that his party ‘lobby very vigorously on that issue’.

This is good news obviously. But your campaigning got us something even better - David Cameron sent us a letter and said:

"We are now in a crucial phase of the UN process and it is vital that we continue to work together to achieve a successful outcome. Britain has maintained its leading role in the UN process… Britain wants an ATT that including small arms, light weapons and ammunition.

“We also want to see a Treaty that contains strong provisions on human rights, international humanitarian law and sustainable development, and covers activities like brokering. It is important that the ATT contains reporting and transparency measures."

We're really pleased with much about this statement but we're not there yet. We must stay on our toes during the whole month of negotiations and ensure that a clear message is sent to the UK team at the negotiations that there is - and I am going to say it again - no compromise on human rights.

Back to top

Help wanted

I probably shouldn't be asking you this at the bottom of a long list of all the incredible things you've been doing. But if you can keep with us for a month longer, we really need your help.

We'll need you to be ready to act fast if talks look like they're slipping. The best way for us to contact you about that is on facebook. So please like the controlarms facebook page today and be a true Arms Trade Treaty champion. Together we might just change the world.

Back to top

About Amnesty UK Blogs
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.
View latest posts

I have had a reply in Feb.from Ed Milliband on this Treaty. I see from your list that though Gemma Doyle MP, W. Dunbartonshire, has had 5 emails she has not spoken publicly - so have emailed her this evening telling her of this site and she not recorded so hoping she will change this.
Amnesty, will you be contacting and working with CAAT?

No-one 11 years ago

I prefer to be a world free of weapons let's say the land of weapon
Muawia khater

scosudan 11 years ago