Say yes to an Arms Trade Treaty! Take Action!

Every day, men, women and children around the world are killed, maimed and terrorised as a direct result of the irresponsible international arms trade. Small arms are the main armament of combatants in civil conflicts.

They are employed by terrorists, warlords and by organized crime, and as such have been the cause of most casualties, including among civilians, in recent conflicts. The unlawful cross-border trade in small arms and ammunition occurs with little transparency and few restrictions, and fuels conflict, aggravates human rights violations and deepens poverty. It also contributes to violence against women.

In July this year, the UN will host a month-long conference at its New York Headquarters to negotiate an international Arms Trade Treaty with the aim of controlling the illicit global arms trade and monitoring the flow of small arms and conventional weapons across borders.

The ITUC Vancouver Congress Resolution on Democracy, Peace, Security and the Role of the United Nations called for “effective international regulation of the production and trading of arms” and supported a “UN Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the trade in small arms”. We are therefore requesting all affiliates to lobby their governments in the lead-up to the UN Conference to press for a strong, legally binding agreement to tackle the suffering caused by irresponsible transfers of conventional weapons and munitions.

In particular, we request that you urge your government to support a treaty which meets the following criteria. The Arms Trade Treaty must:

- ensure no transfer of arms is permitted when there is substantial risk the arms will be used to commit serious violations of the UN Charter, international human rights law and international humanitarian law;
- be all-inclusive and cover all weapons, all transfers and all transactions;
- cover all military, security, and police arms, related equipment and ammunition, and training; and,
- be workable, enforceable and include provisions and guidelines for implementation, international cooperation and reporting, dispute settlement and enforcement.

This July is the crucial moment if the world is to make progress on regulating the trade in conventional weapons, and we therefore ask that you give the strongest encouragement to your government to actively seek a UN Arms Trade Treaty which meets the above criteria.

The ITUC is working with Amnesty International on international level regarding this issue. We encourage you to do so also on a national level.

Please sign the petition above and share and ask others to also sign! Please, remember to keep us updated on any action you take regarding the Arms Trade Treaty.