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US President pressed for progress on Arms Trade Treaty

Associate Spokesperson for Disarmament
(Small Arms and Light Weapons)

10 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

US President pressed for progress on Arms Trade Treaty

Labour’s Associate Spokesperson for Disarmament, Ross Robertson, is among the signatories of a letter to President Barack Obama expressing disappointment with the decision of the US delegation not to support the adoption of a draft Arms Trade Treaty.

Mr Robertson, the President of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), says the US delegation’s last minute request for more time to clarify and resolve issues it had with the draft treaty was surprising to many of the Governments attending July’s ATT UN Diplomatic conference, given it had succeeded in pressing other countries to support a July 26 draft treaty text that incorporated key US positions and avoided US redlines.

“The July 26 draft, if adopted, would help reduce enormous human suffering caused by irresponsible international arms transfers and arms brokering. With specific fixes, we believe its adoption should be supported by the United States and other major arms exporting and importing countries, and promptly.

“We believe the United States, as the world's leading arms supplier, has a special responsibility to help achieve a robust ATT. It is also in the US national security interest to protect American soldiers and the human rights and lives of innocent civilians caught up in dangerous conflicts fueled by the illicit and irresponsible international trade of conventional arms and ammunition.

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“With these points in mind PGA, along with several other international organisations, is encouraging President Barack Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador Rice, via our recent letter, to work with other states at the UN General Assembly to build upon the July conference and draft treaty text in order to open the way for the treaty's approval and opening for signature as quickly as possible.

“We know that securing agreement on a sound treaty won't be easy. But we believe it can be achieved if responsible leaders from key countries work together in the weeks ahead,” said Ross Robertson.

The Control Arms Global Parliamentary Declaration on the Arms Trade Treaty may be viewed at:

More information on PGA may be found at:


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