After weeks of intense negotiations at the UN Conference, including a bitter roadblock put up by Iran, Syria and North Korea, a final treaty was adopted! The treaty prohibits arms transfers that would be used to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. We are now closer than ever to the golden rule we’ve been advocating for more than ten years: “Governments must prevent arms transfers where there is a substantial risk that they will be used to commit serious violations of human rights.”
More importantly, we’re closer than ever to winning the fight that’s been 20 years in the making! While this is a big win, there is still a lot of work to do. The treaty is adopted but “asleep” – it needs to be signed and ratified by 50 countries before it will enter into force. Amnesty International USA will demand that the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress take this important stand for human rights by signing and then ratifying this landmark treaty.
As you can imagine, powerful special interests like the NRA Lobby are already mobilizing to undermine our efforts to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty in the United States. So it’s critical that we see this through.
When the treaty opens for signatures by member states on June 3, we want President Obama to be the first in line. Stay tuned for our more our continued fight. We won’t stop until families worldwide are protected from armed violence.