New York- On April 3 the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Arms Trade Treaty, with 154 in favor, 3 opposed and 23 abstentions. The Treaty will create binding obligations for governments to assess all arms transfers. It will require governments to refuse any transfers of weapons if there is a risk countries would use them to violate human rights or commit war crimes. Another grownbreaking provision in the treaty is that it recognizes the link between gender-based violence and the international arms trade.
“The Arm Trade Treaty is a great step forward in dealing with the unregulated and illicit global trade in conventional weapons and ammunition, which fuels wars and human rights abuses worldwide”, said WFM-IGP Executive Committee Member Don Kraus. “How many of the 500,000 deaths worldwide that happen as a result of armed violence will be prevented? How many of these folks who will live productive lives as a result of today, will never know the historic reason why they are alive?”
“By voting yes on the Arms Trade Treaty in the UN General Assembly, an overwhelming majority of States proved they would not let a tiny minority obstruct a treaty that will save people’s lives. This hard-fought treaty is a victory not only for governments and civil society, but also for people around the world who suffer every day from the deadly, unregulated arms trade,” said Alexandra Hiniker, of IKV/ Pax Christi.