UN Meets on Global Treaty to Control Arms Sales

July 23rd, 2012 - by admin

Amnesty International – 2012-07-23 00:40:28


“Life’s so precious when you’re standing in the firing line.” — Take Good Care video

NEW YORK (July 15, 2012) — We’re at a crucial halfway point in the arms trade treaty negotiations. These talks will determine if weapons and ammunition can be kept out of the hands of the world’s worst human rights abusers. 

Last week, we told you how the National Rifle Association (NRA) is spewing a string of misrepresentations and outright lies in hopes you’ll take your eye off what is really important — protecting countless human lives.

Sadly, the U.S. — the world’s biggest exporter of arms –is likely taking a position that would make the NRA proud. 

President Obama’s negotiators are now favoring a watered-down treaty that would still allow governments to supply deadly weapons to those who commit serious human rights abuses. Instead of standing up for strong global standards, the U.S. is sitting back while Russia, China and other unscrupulous arms suppliers set the agenda for these once-in-a-lifetime negotiations.

President Obama, don’t help arm terrorists and war criminals. Act now to support an arms trade treaty that is strong on human rights!

A video released by the NRA last week distorted the facts so greatly that it could only give credence to allegations that the NRA has another more troubling motive — to protect the lucrative weapons industry, estimated to exceed $60 billion annually. 

But we’ve got our own video that helps put things more into perspective. Watch “Take Good Care” video now. 

The hauntingly beautiful song ‘Take Good Care’ sung by Joss Stone was co-written by Paul Conroy — a war photographer who was seriously injured during a recent tour to Homs, Syria. The video illustrates the heart-wrenching effects of an out-of-control weapons trade as seen through the lens of those suffering in Syria. 

How can we live in a world that regulates its bananas more than its guns? 

That’s the question we keep asking ourselves.1

Weapons are involved in more than 60% of the human rights abuses documented by Amnesty International– from mass rapes and executions to disappearances and the recruitment of child soldiers. 

As a major arms supplier, the United States has enormous responsibility. If these negotiations produce weak rules to control the arms trade, they will set the stage for ongoing atrocities. It’s an outcome that governments with poor human rights records — including China and Russia — not to mention ruthless arms brokers, are sure to benefit from. 

Make no mistake about it — the position taken by the U.S. during these negotiations is crucial. Our generation won’t see another opportunity like this one. 

This is our best chance to prevent war crimes — our best chance to stop mass human rights violations before they happen. 

Take action now to support a strong arms trade treaty. 

Thank you, 

Frank Jannuzi
Deputy Executive Director, Head of Washington DC office
Amnesty International USA 

1. www.amnestyusa.org/armstrade