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For Immediate Release

 Malcolm Fleming +1 917 445 2159
 Irina Fuhrmann +1 917 331 7235
 Louise Rimmer +44 (0) 7900 242 869
Judith Higgin +44 (0) 207 7413 5810

Arms Trade Treaty: Campaigners Call For Show of Unity on Arms Vote


Momentum builds for Arms Trade Treaty as nations prepare for key UN vote.

the world's governments prepare for a crucial vote at the United
Nations on the future of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), taking place
either today [Wednesday] or tomorrow [Thursday], the Control Arms
campaign, representing campaigners from around the world, urged all
states to back the resolution on the ATT, and move forward rapidly to
develop the treaty to end irresponsible arms transfers.

Every day
at the current horrific rate, over one thousand people are killed by
firearms and many thousands more die indirectly as a consequence of
armed violence or are driven from their homes, forced off their land,
raped, tortured or maimed. The irresponsible arms trade fuels conflict,
poverty and grave human rights abuses.

Over the last two weeks,
overwhelming momentum has built amongst governments in favour of the
treaty. Over 2,000 Parliamentarians from 125 countries have pledged
their support, a group of high-ranking military officers who have
worked in some of the world's worst conflict zones have come to the UN
to back the treaty, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent a powerful message
to every nation calling on them to back the treaty and to 'end the
slaughter'. In addition over 100 states have 'co-sponsored' the
resolution on the treaty, indicating their strong support that the
resolution should pass.

Commenting in advance of the vote, Anna Macdonald, from Oxfam International, said:

This is the chance for the nations of the world to come together, say
that the carnage from the irresponsible use of weapons must stop, and
actually do something about it by voting to take forward an Arms Trade

Mark Marge, from the International Action Network on Small Arms, said:

An Arms Trade Treaty can't come soon enough. It is a matter of extreme
urgency and we need every country to show that they want to end the
useless waste of life we see every day around the world because of the
misuse of arms."

Brian Wood, from Amnesty International said:

An overwhelming UN vote by governments to move forward and develop the
Arms Trade Treaty will give the world new hope, despite the spoiling
tactics of a few. No one at the UN wants to jeopardise the right of
states to acquire arms legitimately, so the basic issue is whether
world leaders will concede the argument and now commit themselves
urgently to prevent irresponsible arms transfers that contribute to
massive violations of human rights."

Oxfam International is a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. We are working across regions in about 70 countries, with thousands of partners, and allies, supporting communities to build better lives for themselves, grow resilience and protect lives and livelihoods also in times of crisis.