(New York) – Amnesty International announced today the release of a new version of “Take Good Care,” a song co-written by photojournalist Paul Conroy – who was seriously injured earlier this year in Homs, Syria – and Joss Stone, and produced by Dave Stewart. The song supports Amnesty International's call for world leaders gathering at the United Nations to deliver an effective arms trade treaty.
Conroy wrote the song in response to the devastating impact of armed violence on people's lives he witnessed in the bombing of Misrata, Libya in 2011.
"Having covered armed conflicts up close I have seen the sickening human toll of a world awash in weapons and military hardware that are too easily obtained,” said Conroy. "The brutality is the same no matter where it occurs. The only sane response is to control this unregulated flow of weapons once and for all by adopting an effective global Arms Trade Treaty now."
Currently there are no legally-binding global regulations controlling the international arms trade. The current patchwork system of ineffective controls creates large loopholes and makes embargoes impossible to enforce. The consequences of this are dire: irresponsible transfer of weapons and ammunition continue to flood into places where they are used to commit serious human rights violations.
Details of this historic treaty are currently being negotiated at the United Nations in New York. Talks began on Monday, July 2 and are due to last through the month of July. Delegates from all U.N. member states are attending the month-long talks where they will agree upon a treaty to govern the international arms trade.
“Guns and bullets delivered into the hands of dictators, without any questions asked, must be stopped,” said Suzanne Nossel, executive director, Amnesty International USA. “These are the real weapons of mass destruction. We need only look to the atrocities occurring in Syria or the tragedy unfolding in Mali to understand why we must control the flow of weapons to protect human rights around the world. If we can adopt a strong arms trade treaty, we can save hundreds of thousands of lives and stop fueling armed conflict.”
Joss Stone said: "The Arms Trade Treaty could be one of the most important laws ever to be secured. A successful Treaty could quite literally save lives, stop bloody conflicts and prevent millions of women, men and children from being terrorized from their homes."
"We've seen how weapons in the wrong hands can have utterly devastating consequences. Not just for the victims themselves, but also for their community. That's why I fully support Amnesty International's call upon world leaders to deliver a robust and effective Arms Trade Treaty, with human rights at its core."
Dave Stewart said: "When you think about the fact that every year two bullets for every person on the planet are produced, it is quite clear that the arms trade is out of control. There has never been a greater need to tighten regulations on the arms trade than now.
Amnesty International warns that the treaty will only be effective if it is based on binding human rights protections that ensure that all states must prevent transfers of conventional arms where is a substantial risk that those arms will be used to commit serious human rights violations. These essential human rights safeguards are likely to come under serious threat during negotiations, as a small number if skeptical states will seek to weaken or remove them altogether.
Take Good Care is available for download via iTunes. All proceeds will benefit Amnesty International.
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.