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Groups again approach US President to support Arms Treaty

MP for Manukau East
Assistant Speaker
Associate Spokesperson for Disarmament
(Small Arms and Light Weapons)

27 February 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Groups again approach US President to support Arms Trade Treaty

Labour’s Associate Spokesperson for Disarmament, Ross Robertson, has signed a letter to President Barack Obama on behalf of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), regarding the upcoming negotiations for an effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at the Final United Nations Conference from 18-28 March in New York.

Mr Robertson, the President of PGA, says that at last July’s ATT UN Diplomatic Conference, the US delegation’s last minute request for more time to clarify and resolve issues it had with the draft treaty had been a disappointment.

“However, next month’s Conference presents a historic opportunity to adopt a robust ATT which will provide a key tool to help reduce the enormous human suffering caused by irresponsible international arms transfers and arms brokering,” he said.

“This issue is of world-wide concern and New Zealand MPs have played their part, with 89 of them from across the political spectrum signing up to the Control Arms Global Parliamentary Declaration in support of the ATT.
“The letter to the President, which PGA has co-signed with several other international organisations, highlights the importance of US leadership in setting a clear standard for the express prohibition of an arms transfer, ensuring that exporting states undertake a rigorous assessment of human rights risks, and regulating the export of ammunition for conventional arms.

“We appreciate the US administration’s stated support for the conclusion of negotiations, and we believe that with US leadership we can achieve a comprehensive ATT which can help to save innocent lives, contribute to economic and social development, promote regional stability, and protect human rights, by ensuring the responsible control, trade and export of conventional weapons,” said Ross Robertson.

The Treaty will be negotiated at the United Nations in July, at which time the Control Arms Global Parliamentary Declaration on the ATT, already signed by over 1,300 legislators around the world through the efforts of PGA, will be presented.


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