Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

8 October 2009

UN event hears the need for human rights in global Arms Trade Treaty

UN event hears the need for human rights in global Arms Trade Treaty
More than 100 government officials from around the world attended an event at the United Nations where Amnesty International launched a new briefing on the arms trade.  

A senior UN peacekeeper working the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is a retired Brigadier General from Pakistan, and the assistant commissioner of police in Jamaica joined with Amnesty International in New York on Tuesday. They described the way irresponsible arms flows have fuelled armed violence in different countries.

They described how hundreds of thousands of people are killed each year as a result of foreseeable patterns of armed violence fuelled by the poorly regulated global trade in conventional arms. This terror trade also contributes to hundreds of thousands more men, women and children being injured, raped, displaced, impoverished, and denied other rights established in international law.

To ensure real security they called for an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that must require states not to transfer arms internationally where there is a substantial risk that they will be used in serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law.

The new briefing paper sets out a workable human rights rule that must be included in an ATT. Amnesty International is keen to ensure that the treaty is effective in delivering real security and protecting lives and livelihoods from the proliferation and misuse of arms.

The First Committee of the UN General Assembly is sitting this October to consider the future process towards an ATT.

"It is vital that this month States agree a strong mandate to move from discussions on a treaty to formal negotiations," said Brian Wood from Amnesty International.

The new Amnesty International briefing shows how the absence of international human rights standards for arms transfers undermines real security across the globe: contributing to unlawful killings in Guinea and Myanmar, armed violence against women in Guatemala, and war crimes in Somalia and the DRC.

Read More

Stopping the Terror Trade: How human rights rules in an arms trade treaty can help deliver real security (Briefing, 5 October 2009)
Record turnout for Arms Trade Treaty week of action (News, 22 June 2009)
The Control Arms Campaign website

Issue

Armed Conflict 
Military, Security And Police Equipment 
United Nations 

Campaigns

Arms control and human rights 

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