United Nations adopted Arms Trade Treaty

Amnesty International
2 April 2013

UN puts human rights at heart of historic Arms Trade Treaty

Today, governments at the United Nations adopted by a wide margin an Arms Trade Treaty that will prohibit states from transferring conventional weapons to countries when they know those weapons will be used to commit or facilitate genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

In the UN General Assembly 154 states voted to adopt the treaty just days after Iran, North Korea and Syria – three human rights-abusing countries under some form of UN sanctions – staged a cynical move to try and block it. All three voted against the treaty today and 23 other states abstained.

“The world has been waiting a long time for this historic treaty. After long years of campaigning, most states have agreed to adopt a global treaty that can prevent the flow of arms into countries where they will be used to commit atrocities,” said Brian Wood, Head of Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International, from the UN conference in New York.

“Despite Iran, North Korea and Syria’s deeply cynical attempt to stymie it, the overwhelming majority of the world’s nations have shown resounding support for this lifesaving treaty with human rights protection at its core.”

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Protect lives in danger in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Amnesty International
Press Release
November 26, 2012

Obama Administration Must Step Up Influence, Especially at United Nations, to Protect Lives in Danger in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @strimel

(New York) – With tens of thousands of people at risk from renewed fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Amnesty International USA today called on the Obama administration to step up its influence at the United Nations and directly with the Congolese government to help protect civilians and to supply needed food, water, medicine and shelter.

Amnesty International, in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said it is deeply concerned about the safety of civilians in Goma and Sake due to the renewed outbreak of violence and the appalling record of past human rights abuses by the armed group M23, which has been responsible for unlawful killings, forced labor and rape and the recruitment of children as soldiers.

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Arms Trade Treaty Talks Open at United Nations

Amnesty International
Press Release
July 2, 2012

International Artists Support Campaign for Effective Arms Trade Treaty As Talks Open at United Nations on Monday

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @strimel

(New York) – As more than 190 governments meet in New York Monday for the first day of month-long talks at the United Nations on arms control, more than 30 high-profile Amnesty International and Oxfam supporters, including the British war photographer Paul Conroy, urged governments to deliver a strong and effective treaty that helps protect human rights and prevent the flow of arms to irresponsible users.

Amnesty International and Oxfam sent the letter signed by Conroy, Keira Knightley, Kevin Spacey and others to U.N. Secretary General Ban ki Moon, urging governments to deliver a strong treaty that will save lives. Conroy is the British war photographer injured in the mortar attack that killed London Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin and French photo journalist Remi Ochlik, in Homs, Syria, earlier this year.

An effective ATT needs a “Golden Rule:” if there is a substantial risk that arms exported to another country are likely to be used for serious human rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law, or to undermine sustainable development, those arms supplies must be stopped.

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