As the first global arms trade treaty was agreed at the UN, UK Ministers were in Libya – aboard a warship – promoting arms sales. BAAT warns that the global arms trade treaty will only be effective if normal people force governments, institutions and arms giants to uphold it.
On Tuesday, 2 April 2013, States had gathered at the United Nations General Assembly for the adoption of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. Prior to this day there was more legislation on exporting bananas round the world than guns. Costa Rica, the first demilitarized nation, introduced the draft resolution.
The global treaty that was finally passed is much the same as the British arms export policy, established under Tony B-liar, stating that arms cannot be sold to countries with bad records on human rights. Despite having an ethical arms trade treaty, we went to war with Iraq and what did we care about human rights as we were complicit in horrific abuses of rights one example we can’t forget is Abu Ghraib. The UK continues despite adopting the so called ethical arms trade policy, to arm repressive regimes other than itself such as human rights abusing Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to name just a two.
A block of countries refused to sign the document, these included Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. They especially wanted a reference in the text to the right to self-determination of peoples living under foreign occupation, and specifically cited Israel’s occupation of Palestine in this regard.
Chloe Marsh from BAAT said “It is up to small groups of committed citizens all over the world to hold governments and institutions accountable for breaches of arms export policy. Human rights are not handed out freely by oppressers, they are fought for by regular people. Arms are almost always used as a way to repress people, i won’t be happy until the arms trade treaty, makes producing weapons entirely illegal”