19 August 2014
Over recent weeks, the world has witnessed an upsurge in violent conflict in Ukraine, Gaza, South Sudan, Iraq and Syria to name a few places.
While these conflicts have many causes, in all cases the presence of irresponsibly or illegally traded weapons is fuelling an appalling cycle of violence. These arms prolong and deepen conflicts; they are used to kill and injure civilians, to perpetrate sexual violence, and to coerce children to become soldiers. And at the base of these problems is the irresponsible trade in arms.
Just over a year ago, 154 nations voted at the UN in favour of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), recognising at last that controls over the global arms trade based on international humanitarian and human rights law could save many thousands of lives a year, and reduce the humanitarian harm caused by irresponsible arms transfers. Already 118 countries have signed, and 44 (including Australia) have ratified this important agreement. 50 ratifications are needed before the agreement comes into force.
See the Control Arms website for a list of signatory states and ratifications and to express your support for the implementation of the treaty.