WHEN ARMS GET IN THE WRONG HANDS:
Arms trade and the implications for upholding the Responsibility to Protect
The trade of virtually all goods is regulated and controlled; however, no global standard exists for the international trading of arms. As we speak, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is meeting for the final negotiations on an international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The idea of a treaty was introduced at the UN in 2006 in the form of a draft resolution. In 2009, the UNGA adopted Resolution 64/48 to convene a UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty to stop the lethal consequences of the uncontrolled trade of arms which have included hundreds of thousands of deaths, women raped at gunpoint and children recruited into armed groups; not to mention the many injured, tortured, abused or taken hostage. As the United Nations Secretary General has argued, “violence against civilians is…unquestionably abetted by the free flow of weapons...we urgently need a robust and comprehensive agreement that addresses the humanitarian impact of the poorly regulated trade in arms." From 18-28 March 2013, the UNGA will negotiate the final text of the Treaty.
In the Coalition’s latest blog, we look at how access to arms increases the likelihood of intra-state violence, which can lead to the commission of mass atrocities, as well as complicate regional and international efforts to strengthen a state’s capacity to fulfill its primary responsibility to protect. This post features some of the many reports and press releases published by civil society organizations that are actively monitoring and engaged in the ATT negotiations process, advocating for a strong treaty to regulate the transfer of weapons so as to ensure that human rights are upheld and populations are protected.
See full blog post.