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PGA urges US President to sign up to Arms Trade Treaty

Ross ROBERTSON 

Associate Spokesperson for Disarmament

(Small Arms and Light Weapons)                        

31 July 2013    MEDIA STATEMENT

PGA urges US President to sign up to Arms Trade Treaty  

Labour’s Associate Spokesperson for Disarmament, Ross Robertson, has signed a letter to President Barack Obama on behalf of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), congratulating the US Administration for helping to successfully conclude negotiations for an effective global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) earlier this year, and urging the US government to throw its support behind the treaty by signing it at the United Nations in New York in September.

Mr Robertson, the President of PGA, says the United States’ signature on the document would be a tangible step towards demonstrating its commitment to preventing mass atrocities and protecting civilians from armed conflict around the globe.

“The development of the ATT was an historic achievement.  Governments agreed to a plan that will, if implemented rigorously and universally, put an end to the irresponsible arms trade that fuels so much suffering in the world.

“New Zealand has already signed the ATT, following a show of support from 89 of our MPs who signed a world-wide declaration calling for a robust ATT, which was presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon last year.

“This is a common sense agreement that will have positive impacts for US security, civilians living in the midst of armed conflict or unstable environments, and poverty alleviation.

“Eighty-one countries have already signed and two have ratified the ATT.  If the US clearly signals its intent to be bound by the Treaty, it is likely other, as yet undecided countries, will follow suit. 

“We are hopeful that the US will demonstrate strong leadership on this global issue,” said Ross Robertson.

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

http://controlarms.org/parliamentarian-declaration

More information on PGA may be found at: www.pgaction.org

ENDS

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