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A massive groundswell of support for a global Arms Trade Treaty is


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Governments show overwhelming support for Arms
26 June 2007

The Control Arms campaign: Oxfam International, Amnesty International and the
International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)

Campaigners around the world are celebrating a significant victory after more than 80 governments
participated in the UN consultation process on an Arms Trade Treaty.

The arms trade has no effective global controls at present. The proposed treaty would establish
global standards that could save thousands of lives and hold irresponsible arms dealers
accountable for their actions.

Speaking earlier this month at a conference in New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
confirmed the proposed treaty would establish common international standards for the import,
export and transfer of all conventional arms. The treaty would make a major contribution to the
attainment of humanitarian, human rights and development objectives worldwide, he said.

Control Arms says the work of global civil society must be recognised as a major contributing factor
to the success of the treaty process so far. Control Arms coordinated more than 100 People’s
Consultations around the world where ordinary people shared their views on what the ATT should

The majority of states where consultations were held made submissions to the UN. The
submissions showed widespread support for a treaty that protects human rights and sustainable
development and enhances regional security.

“In the Philippines, where I’m from, the unregulated arms trade fuels widespread human rights
abuses – politically motivated killings and attacks on freedom of speech are a regular occurrence.”
From the start, I knew the People’s Consultation would be an important campaign to ensure that
the voices of ordinary people were taken into account. It’s really positive that governments have
listened to people who suffer from armed violence on a daily basis,” said Fred Lubang of Non-
Violence International, representing the Control Arms campaign.

Over the past week, two major regional bodies have restated their support for the proposed Treaty.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Council of the European
Union (EU) both issued public statements last week supporting moves towards more responsible
and stringent regulation of the global arms trade.

“We welcome supportive statements from the UN Secretary-General, ECOWAS and the European
Union. All governments must now ensure that human rights, international humanitarian law and
sustainable development are at the heart of the Arms Trade Treaty so it can save lives,” said
Heather Sutton from Sou da Paz in Brazil.

“Heads of State will be meeting at the African Union, Southern African Development Community
and Pacific Islands Forum meeting over the coming months – we want to see those regional
organisations pledging support for an Arms Trade Treaty. We hope all responses to the Secretary-
General will be carefully considered when the UN General Assembly holds further discussions on
the treaty in October this year,” said Charles Nasibu-Bilali, a Congolese researcher and Control
Arms campaigner.

Government submissions are now being collated for the Secretary-General, whose next move will
be to establish a Group of Governmental Experts that will formally start work on the Arms Trade
Treaty in 2008.


For more information, please contact:
Oxfam International: Jennifer Abrahamson on +1 212 687 2150 (office) or +1 202 321 7858 (cell)
Amnesty International: Pollyanna Truscott on +1 212 867 8878 (office) or +1 646 884 2964 (cell)
IANSA: Mark Marge on +1 646 257 4130 (office) or +1 646 207 6523 (cell)

Notes to editors:
 Interviewees are available from People’s Consultations in South Africa, Thailand, Democratic
  Republic of Congo, Brazil, India and Fiji. Requests for interviews in English, Spanish, French,
  Italian and Portuguese can be facilitated. Short biographies of available interviewees are
 The Control Arms Campaign is a joint initiative by Amnesty International, Oxfam International
  and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). Hundreds of non-governmental
  organisations from all over the world work with Control Arms to reduce arms proliferation and
 The official deadline for government submissions on an Arms Trade Treaty to the UN Secretary
  General was 20 June but submissions will be accepted until the end of the month and issued as
  addendums to the main consultation document.

Anna Macdonald is the Oxfam International Control Arms campaign manager. She helped to
coordinate People’s Consultations in more than 50 countries around the world. Anna is available
for interview in English.

Rebecca Peters is the Director of the International Action Network on Small Arms. She helped to
coordinate People’s Consultations in more than 50 countries around the world. Rebecca is
available for interview in English, Spanish and French.

Sauro Scarpelli is the Control Arms Campaign Coordinator at the Amnesty International
Secretariat. He helped to coordinate People’s Consultations in more than 50 countries around the
world. Sauro is available for interview in English, Spanish or Italian.

Charles Nasibu-Bilali, independent researcher and journalist from the Democratic Republic of
Congo. Charles lived in the DRC during the height of the conflict from 1996-2002 and conducted
extensive research into small arms-related problems there. He was forced to flee the country in
2005 for fear of persecution and is now living with his family in Norway. Charles is available for
interview in French and Swahili.

Ema Tagicakibau is the Assistant Director-Demilitarization at the Pacific Concerns Resource
Centre (based in Fiji). Ema is a former Member of Parliament who was held hostage with 33
colleagues when six gunmen entered Parliament during Fiji’s coup in May 2000. She was
responsible for coordinating a national consultation in Fiji along with several other non-
governmental organisations and also lobbied Pacific Island Forum member states to support the
UN ATT process. Ema is available for interview in English.

Heather Sutton works with Sou da Paz in Brazil. Sou da Paz coordinated 12 People’s
Consultations in every region of Brazil and the outcome document of the Consultations was
presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in April. Gun violence in Brazil is high on the social and
political agenda and there are particular concerns about the possible impact on Brazil of recent
arms sales to its neighbour, Venezuela. Heather is available for interviews in English, Portuguese
and Spanish.

Binalakshmi Nepram is the founding Secretary General of the Control Arms Foundation of India
(CAFI) and also of the Manipur Women's Gun Survivor Network. Bina has worked tirelessly on
arms control issues throughout India for around 10 years. Bina is available for interviews in English
and Hindi.

Fred Lubang works with Non-Violence International in Thailand. He founded the Philippines
Action Network on Small Arms (PhilANSA) and developed the idea for the People’s Consultation in
2006. Fred is available for interviews in English.

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