Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians

Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians as Gaza violence escalates again

22 August, 2014

As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition to Israel and any Palestinian armed group while there is serious risk that they could be used to violate international humanitarian law.

The agency said the widespread killing of civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure over the past six weeks is the worst it has seen in 20 years of working in Gaza. More than 1,500 civilians in Gaza - including more than 480 children - and three civilians in Israel have been killed so far, and it is estimated that billions of dollars of damage has been caused to vital water, sanitation, health services and homes in Gaza.

The latest escalation in fighting is the sixth time in the past six weeks that a temporary ceasefire has ended without both sides agreeing to a lasting resolution, and has led to more civilian casualties in Gaza in the past 24 hours. Nishant Pandey, head of Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, said: "Now more than ever, the international community should exert maximum diplomatic pressure, including suspending arms and ammunitions transfers, to show that the world will not tolerate the violence and civilian suffering for a moment longer."

States and peoples have the legitimate right to use arms for the protection of their citizens against external attack, but only on the condition that their use of force complies with the principles of necessity and proportionality, as well as with international humanitarian and human rights law. The conduct of both the Government of Israel and of Palestinian armed groups raises numerous concerns of violations of international law.

Oxfam is a staunch believer in, and long time campaigner for the Arms Trade Treaty—signed by 118 states—which requires the prohibition of arms transfers where the supplier has knowledge that the arms will be used to commit “attacks on civilian objects or civilians.”

The New Zealand Government is set to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty in the next few weeks.

“This humanitarian crisis is being fuelled by weapons. Suspending arms and ammunition transfers is vital to ensure no more civilians are harmed. This conflict cannot be resolved militarily. Civilians on both sides deserve an enduring ceasefire and a credible, inclusive peace process,” Pandey said.

Notes:

Israel voted in favour of adopting the Arms Trade Treaty. Palestine, as a non-member observer of the UN, is not eligible to vote, although it participated in the negotiation of the Treaty.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news