Arms Trade Treaty - It's Now or Never
This July, world leaders will meet in New York to draw up the first ever international Arms Trade Treaty. This treaty could save countless of lives and help prevent human rights abuses across the world – but we have just one shot to get it right.
Recent atrocities in Syria provide a tragic and timely reminder of the human cost of an unregulated arms trade - every day at least 1,500 people around the world die from armed violence and conflict. As the final negotiations on the treaty approach, the pressure for a strong treaty is building. Although many governments are in favour of a strong Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), some would prefer a weaker one.
Powerful major arms exporters, including the USA, China and Russia, are arguing for looser rules covering a narrower range of weapons. Their position in the negotiations makes it all the more important that the UK – also a major arms exporter – maintains and strengthens its support for an effective treaty.
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) isn’t just about technical debates and diplomatic deals and fixes. The treaty will only work if it has a strict set of binding rules that will help saves lives. The treaty has to make it absolutely clear that arms sales shall NOT be authorised when there is a substantial risk that they will lead to serious violations of human rights. Unless this clear statement is included, the Treaty will be a failure.
The UK is a champion for the ATT and many countries around the world are looking to see whether the UK keeps it strong stance. So far we have had public statements from Ed Milliband, Nick Clegg and William Hague. But Amnesty is concerned that David Cameron hasn't made a strong public statement for the ATT. A last minute pullback by the UK could end in a weaker ATT which no one wants.
We are asking you to write a letter Chris White MP or Jeremy Wright MP asking them to write a letter to David Cameron in support of the ATT. A sample letter attached below.
After 20 years of dedicated campaigning, we are on the verge of making this treaty a reality. But we have less than 100 days before negotiations begin. We have a unique opportunity let's not loose it.