World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Campaigners call for Arms Trade Treaty

Campaigners call for Arms Trade Treaty as new figures show massive increase in arms transfers


Military spending and the global arms trade rose dramatically in 2003, international arms campaigners revealed as they marked the second worldwide Control Arms day on Saturday.

The downward trend in arms sales has been reversed, with both 2001 and 2003 showing the first increases in the arms market in almost a decade. The figures, from one of the world's leading sources of information and data (the SIPRI Yearbook 2004), also show a dramatic 18% rise in military spending during 2002 and 2003.

These figures come amid further calls for an international Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the export of arms across the globe.

“The massive rise in arms transfers makes the case for controls more pressing than ever. Until there are global controls on this deadly trade, people’s lives will continue to be ruined by weapons in the wrong hands,” said Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand.

The first Control Arms day (9th October 2003) was marked in 70 countries across the world, when Oxfam, Amnesty International and IANSA (the International Action Network on Small Arms) launched the Control Arms campaign. The campaigners are pushing for a legally-binding, international Arms Trade Treaty to help stop weapons being sold to destinations where they might undermine human rights, fuel conflict or exacerbate poverty.

"We know that an increase in the arms trade also means a rise in black market sales, as many small arms are diverted to human right abusers, warlords, terrorist groups and common criminals. Control Arms is working to stop these black market diversions," said Rebecca Peters, Director of IANSA.

So far, the political leaders of countries including Brazil, Cambodia, Mali, Macedonia, Costa Rica, Finland and the Netherlands have given their support to Control Arms. The campaign was given another boost last week when Britain announced its support for the Arms Trade Treaty. Britain is the second biggest arms exporter in the world.

There are around 639 million small arms and light weapons in the world today. Eight million more are produced every year. Without strict control, such weapons will continue to fuel violent conflict, state repression, crime, and domestic abuse.

As part of the Control Arms campaign, Oxfam, Amnesty and IANSA also launched the Million Faces petition, a visual means by which members of the public worldwide can pledge their support to the campaign by posting a photograph or self portrait on the website www.controlarms.org Celebrities including Dido, Desmond Tutu, Michael Moore and Bob Geldof have taken part.

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

SIPRI is the Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute.

Background:

Conventional arms kill hundreds of thousands of people every year. There are 639 million small arms in the world, or one for every ten people, produced by over 1,000 companies in at least 98 countries.

Amnesty International, Oxfam and IANSA are calling for an International Arms Trade Treaty to introduce legally-binding standards to control the supply of weapons around the globe. The campaign aims to ensure that arms are not sold, by any country, to places where they are likely to fuel conflict and instability or be used to commit human rights abuses.

Oxfam has repeatedly called on the New Zealand government, particularly the Minister for Disarmament Marian Hobbs, to support an International Arms Trade Treaty.

Visit our web site: http://www.controlarms.org/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC