Campaigners call for a bulletproof treaty

Campaigning for change article written on the 29 Jun 2012

Talks on the world’s first Arms Trade Treaty will begin in just a few days time.

All 193 world governments will meet in New York on Monday July 2nd for a month long negotiating conference to agree on global, legally binding regulations on international sales of arms. The treaty aims to prevent irresponsible arms transfers that fuel conflict, human rights violations and poverty.

This is the culmination of a decade’s work led by the Control Arms campaign, a worldwide coalition of campaigners which Oxfam helped to establish in 2003.

Highlighting the issue on a global day of action this week, campaigners took to the streets in a number of creative ways.

In London a tank was driven around the streets by Oxfam and Amnesty to visit various embassies with key reports urging governments to stay on target and deliver a comprehensive legally binding treaty which does not only include weapons, but also ammunition and the components of weapons.

Meanwhile in Canberra a petition was delivered to the government with over 30 000 signatures from Australians calling for action to add to almost 400 000 signatures worldwide.

In Perth we delivered some of Oxfam’s latest reports and a letter to President Obama signed by 50 organisations including Oxfam and the Control Arms Secretariat, urging the US to support a strong, effective Arms Trade Treaty. Carrying tombstones and wearing white masks, our supporters provided a grim reminder of the 1 500 people who die each day as a consequence of the unregulated trade in arms.

We are calling for a bulletproof treaty that will enhance efforts for global peace and security and prevent millions of people being killed, injured, raped, repressed and forced to flee their homes.

If you want to find out more and show your support visit our Control Arms page and sign the global petition. The petition will be presented to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon next Tuesday.

Send a strong message that we need to control arms now!

by Paddy Cullen, Western Australia Campaign Coordinator