NI Assembly members, Amnesty and WAVE call on PM David Cameron to support an Arms Treaty
Today (Tuesday 12 June) Amnesty International, Wave Trauma Centre and Northern Ireland Assembly members will call on Prime Minister David Cameron to publicly affirm the UK Government's commitment to pressing for a robust, human rights compliant Arms Treaty in advance of final negotiations at the United Nations in New York next month.
The Assembly motion being debated today calls on the UK Government to insist during negotiations on the ‘golden rule’ i.e. that arms sales shall not be authorised where there is a substantial risk they will lead to serious violations of human rights.
Amnesty has been campaigning for an Arms Treaty for 13 years and has recently joined forces locally with victims group WAVE to highlight the impact the illegal flow of arms has in Northern Ireland.
Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International said: "Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Labour Leader Ed Miliband, and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague have all spoken publicly of their commitment to securing a robust and effective Arms Treaty. However, so far the Prime Minister David Cameron has stayed silent on the issue.
"As one of the most influential players in the negotiations, it is crucial that David Cameron publicly commits to championing an effective Arms Treaty and sends a clear message to other world leaders that the UK will not compromise on human rights.’’
Alex Bunting, from WAVE, who lost a leg and sustained injuries to his other leg in a booby trap bomb attack on his taxi in Belfast in 1991, said: ‘’Having had our own experience of the illegal flow of arms in Northern Ireland, it is important that our MLAs urge David Cameron to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and ensure that the Arms Treaty protects the human rights of people both at home and abroad.’’
Mr Bunting's injuries came from a bomb comprising explosives illegally imported to Northern Ireland, suspected to have come from Libya in the 1980s.