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'Lord of War' movie - a call to control arms

For attention of: EDITOR
5 March 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

'Lord of War' movie - a call to control arms


'Lord of War', the latest movie by New Zealand director, Andrew Niccol, is set to provide Amnesty International with ammunition for its campaign against the global misuse of arms.

'Lord of War' follows the story of a New York based arms broker (Nicolas Cage) who traffics weapons to dictators and human rights abusers, and the efforts of an Interpol agent (Ethan Hawke) to capture him.

Amnesty International, thanks to Hoyts Distributors NZ, is hosting premieres of the movie in six local centres, beginning on 20 March. (Premiere centres listed below)

AINZ executive director, Ced Simpson, says 'Lord of War' is literally a call to control arms.

"When Andrew was shooting this film he thought he was 'making a fascinating character - but that arms dealing had nothing to do with us'. However he soon realised that 'because of our action - and lack of action - arms dealing has everything to do with us.'"

"The global arms trade has reached crisis point and this year it is critical that New Zealanders take action by adding their voice and faces to growing international support for an Arms Trade Treaty", said Mr Simpson.

The New Zealand Government has come out in support of the Treaty, as have more than 8,000 New Zealanders who have already signed Amnesty International's Million Faces Petition.

The Million Faces Petition is a worldwide action that aims to capture the portraits of a million supporters of an Arms Trade Treaty. The visual petition will be presented to world leaders at the United Nations Convention on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms in June - July 2006.

"We are urging all New Zealanders to add their faces to our petition so that in June and July this year governments face up to the fact that the lack of controls is fuelling conflict, poverty and human rights abuses worldwide. They must commit to that Treaty," says Mr Simpson.

The Arms Trade Treaty would ban the transfer of arms that are likely to be used to commit serious violations of human rights and war crimes.

ENDS


Fact Sheet

What is the Control Arms Campaign?
It is a global campaign led by Amnesty International, Oxfam and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) to control the illicit weapons trade.

What is the Million Faces Petition?
The campaign's public "face" is the Million Faces Petition, a worldwide action that aims to capture the portraits of a million supporters of an Arms Trade Treaty. It will be presented to world leaders at the United Nations Convention on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms in June-July 2006.

What is an Arms Trade Treaty?
A draft Arms Trade Treaty, created by Amnesty, Oxfam and IANSA in conjunction with international legal experts, aims to reduce the flow of legal and illegal weapons to countries where they are used to commit human rights abuses.

The Treaty provides a set of common minimum standards for the control of arms transfers; based on countries' existing responsibilities under UN law. The Treaty would ban the transfer of arms that are likely to be used to commit serious violations of human rights and war crimes.

Why does the world need an Arms Trade Treaty?

On average, one person is killed every minute by small arms.

On average, two people are injured by small arms every minute.

Every day, countless others are maimed, tortured, or forced to flee their homes.

Guns are being put in the hands of children, who are forced to use them on their own friends and families - and on the frontline of armed conflicts.


"The weapons are not made here. When we hear of an attack in the villages, we ask ourselves, 'Where did these arms come from?' The West fools us by saying that there is an arms embargo in the Congo, while more weapons and more weapons continue to come", said Fefe, the President of a child-soldier reintegration program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Who has supported the ATT and MFP?
It is a campaign that has so far garnered the support of 50 governments, 19 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and 735,000 people worldwide, including more than 8,000 New Zealanders.

New Zealand was one of the first nations to publicly support the treaty at a United Nations Convention in October 2004. Since then, New Zealand representatives at several UN meetings have reaffirmed a commitment to an Arms Trade Treaty.

For more information about the Control Arms Campaign, please visit:
www.amnesty.org.nz, www.controlarms.com or www.iansa.org

Premieres
Kapiti Coast Monday, March 20, 7.30pm
Readings Cinema, Coastlands Shopping Town
Auckland Tuesday, March 21, 7.30pm Hoyts, 15 Link Drive, Wairau Park
Napier Monday, March 20, 8.00pm Reading Theatre, Station St,
Wellington Tuesday, March 21, 8.15pm Regent on Manners, Manners Mall
Tauranga Monday, March 20, 8.30pm Cinema 8, 45 Elizabeth St
Dunedin Wednesday, March 22, 8.00pm Hoyts, 33 the Octagon

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