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Reacting to reports that the US may withdraw its signature from the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), Adotei Akwei, the Deputy Director for Advocacy and Government Relations for Amnesty International USA said:

“This announcement is a misguided blow to efforts to promote international peace and security. The ATT is the first global instrument to set international standards for the transfer of conventional arms and ammunition with the express purpose of reducing human suffering. The treaty requires governments to assess the risk of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law before they authorize an arms deal in order to prevent weapons from being irresponsibly used in brutal conflicts, by organized crime or funneled to terrorists. It in no way interferes with the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees US’ citizens the right to bear arms.

“As the biggest arms exporter, the US signature to the ATT was an important step towards ensuring that dangerous weapons stay out of the wrong hands. With this announcement the Trump administration will re-open the floodgates for arms sales with weakened human rights criteria, which could potentially fuel brutal conflicts, and make everyone less safe.”