Australians tell the Government – final push for a strong Arms Trade Treaty

Rights in crisis article written on the 27 Jul 2012

With just one day left in the negotiations for a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty, Oxfam Australia along with Amnesty International, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and World Council of Churches encouraged the Australian Government to make one final push to ensure a strong and robust instrument.

A draft text was presented today to the conference, which shows promise of setting a new global standard for arms transfers – but in a difficult negotiating environment, more work is needed to close several key loopholes that could negatively impact on the humanitarian potential of the treaty.

The four NGOs presented H.E. Mr Peter Woolcott, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva with a petition signed by over 31,000 Australians calling on the Australian Government to secure a treaty that protects human rights and effective prevents abuses.

The petition was previously handed to Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles in Canberra, with today’s handover a reminder to the Australian government to stand firm and continue to show leadership in securing an effective instrument that saves lives on the ground. The next 24 hours will be challenging, but the Australian Government must not give up on a truly bullet proof Arms Trade Treaty.

Send a message to Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr that Australia needs to show leadership and use its influence to fix the holes in the Arms Trade Treaty before it is too late!

We’ve put together a few suggested tweets that you can send directly to Bob Carr:

  • @bobjcarr the draft #ArmsTreaty controls guns but not bullets. Fix the top 5 escape clauses!

  • @bobjcarr under draft #ArmsTreaty, you can give away arms for free to human rights abusers. Fix the top 5 escape clauses!

  • @bobjcarr under draft #ArmsTreaty, contributions to peace and security can be used to ignore human rights. Fix the top 5 escape clauses!