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G8 fails the victims of irresponsible arms exports

G8 fails the victims of irresponsible arms exports

Today's statement from the UK Chair of the G8 Foreign Ministers meeting on arms control is a shocking disappointment and undermines the G8's commitments to end poverty and injustice.

Instead of committing to negotiate a tough and enforceable Arms Trade Treaty, the G8 Foreign Ministers have made no commitments whatsoever to help prevent arms getting into the hands of gross human rights abusers.

The G8 has betrayed the hundreds of thousands of civilians that are killed every year and the millions more that are denied their chance to escape poverty.

The G8 countries together account for more than 80% of the all the world's arms exports. They have a moral and legal responsibility to provide global leadership.

This paltry statement fails to recognise the growing consensus of support for a tough and enforceable Arms Trade Treaty based on international law and human rights.

Background UK Chair’s Statement after G8 foreign ministers meeting on 23 June 2005:

“We discussed our common concerns about the proliferation of conventional arms in areas of conflict and instability. The UK elaborated on its proposal for an Arms Trade Treaty. We agreed that developing a common understanding of governments’ responsibilities would be an important step in tackling the undesirable proliferation of conventional arms. We agreed on the need for further work to build a consensus for action, taking full account of other relevant initiatives.”

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