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Stemming the flow of weapons

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
July 22, 2010

In order to help stop irresponsible arms transfers globally, Amnesty International has joined with Oxfam and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) to set up the Control Arms campaign.

The Control Arms campaign calls for a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that would establish strict rules for the international transfer of arms, and hold irresponsible arms suppliers and dealers to account.

Amnesty International maintains that a “golden rule” is desperately needed in an ATT that would require governments to stop an arms transfer when there is a substantial risk that the arms are likely to be used for serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

Since 2003, the Control Arms campaign has gone from strength to strength.

When it was launched, it had only a handful of government supporters. Control Arms petitions gathered the support of more than one million people worldwide. Popular mobilization coupled with smart advocacy in over 100 countries has resulted in increasingly large historic votes at the UN General Assembly in favor of developing a “strong and robust” ATT.

But what kind of Arms Trade Treaty will they agree upon? Formal deliberations and negotiations on the treaty text start this month and lead to a UN conference in 2012.

Will the treaty cover all types of arms transfers and contain a “golden rule”? Or will supportive governments surrender to the few skeptical powers which have opposed the treaty and who now seek to include major loopholes in the treaty?

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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