Obama Administration Urged to Make Crucial Final Push On Critical Arms Trade Treaty

Press Release
July 25, 2012

Obama Administration Urged to Make Crucial Final Push On Critical Arms Trade Treaty

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @strimel

(New York) – Suzanne Nossel, executive director, Amnesty International USA, made the following comments today about the draft text that emerged Tuesday after three weeks of talks at the United Nations on a global Arms Trade Treaty:

"With a few key fixes, the draft treaty that emerged on Tuesday can deliver an important win for humanity by curbing the export of weapons and ammunition to countries where they will likely be used to slaughter civilians. The treaty is not perfect, but it deserves the Administration’s support. President Obama should step forward to protect human rights and push this treaty across the finish line."

Specifically, Amnesty International wants the Obama Administration to close key loopholes, ensuring that the final treaty covers "all types of transfers" of weapons, not just the commercial "export" of weapons. In addition, the treaty should be flexible to cover new arms technologies that could be deployed in the future.

Nossel said: "We know the arms trade treaty won’t end civilian deaths in armed conflict, or prevent all illicit arms transfers. But it will raise the political cost of sending arms where they will be used to kill and harm civilians. The treaty has the potential to be a historic measure in depriving human rights abusers of key tools of their trade."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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