Arms Trade Treaty enters into force - Amnesty & Oxfam welcome new controls on weapons companies

Gun show in USA - credit: Flickr user M Glasgow via CC BY 2.0

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24 December 2014

Arms Trade Treaty enters into force, offering fresh hope for the protection of civilians in 2015

Author: Oxfam America

Campaigners hailed a huge victory as after more than a decade of campaigning, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty today becomes international law at last...The treaty aims to set the highest standards for controlling the $85 billion international trade of arms and ammunition and to cut the supply of weapons to all dictators and human rights abusers... Oxfam spokesperson Mariam Kemple Hardy [said] “The ATT will transform the global arms business...It will no longer be acceptable to look the other way when arms are transferred to regimes that will use them to harm innocent people and violate their human rights.” Under...the ATT, before any arms transfer takes place, the supplier government must assess associated risks of the deal against strict criteria, including whether the arms might be used for human rights violations or war crimes.

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22 December 2014

Q&A: Global Arms Trade Treaty enters into force

Author: Amnesty International

On 2 April 2013,...the UN General Assembly voted decisively to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) text. On 24 December 2014, the treaty is now officially becoming international law, which could save the lives of millions... The ATT...sets out...robust global rules to stop the flow of weapons, munitions and related items to countries when it is known they would be used to commit or facilitate genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and serious human rights violations...[The] value of international transfers of conventional arms is estimated to be approaching US$100 billion annually...What about businesses, aren’t they responsible too? It’s true that most of the arms trade is carried out by commercial entities – manufacturing and trading companies, military service providers, arms brokers and dealers as well as those who transport the arms and finance them. Under...the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies have a responsibility to respect all human rights... However, in the case of the arms trade the primary responsibility falls to states...[to] regulate the trade...

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