Human rights abusers put on notice as States move closer to arms trade deal

07/24/2010 02:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Civil society says treaty must be "bulletproof" to protect lives

Diplomats emerged Friday (July 23) after spending half of the time allocated for the preliminary negotiations on a global Arms Trade Treaty with draft elements and principles for the future treaty. These included principles that if implemented would outlaw international arms supplies to grave human rights violators and to where they risk fuelling poverty and conflict.

The Control Arms alliance expressed some satisfaction at progress made but urged governments to maximise time before the next meeting in 2011 to develop a draft Treaty further.

One person every minute dies as a result of armed violence, with thousands more injured and abused every day, according to the Control Arms Campaign.

Here are some of the reactions made by civil society groups that are following the debate on the creation of an Arns Trade Treaty:

Maria Pia Devoto, from APP Argentina: "While much work remains to be done to iron out the details of a future Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a majority of States has clearly recognized the need for the treaty to reduce the human suffering caused by the absence of global standards and irresponsible transfers of arms."

Gassama Director Amnesty International, Senegal Arms Control Manager at Amnesty International:"We need a Treaty that covers all arms - everything from small arms to helicopters to tanks, and their ammunition and components. And we need common procedures so that all international arms transfers are rigorously assessed to keep arms out of the hands of human rights abusers, and away from places where they will fuel conflict and human suffering."

Anna MacDonald of international aid agency Oxfam: "The world is one step closer to have a Treaty that will make it harder for war mongers and human rights abusers to obtain weapons and ammunition. A great deal of preparation is now needed by States before the next UN ATT meeting in March 2011 to ensure they deliver a "bulletproof" Treaty that will save and protect lives and livelihoods."

Negotiations are due to continue in 2011, with a concluding Conference scheduled in 2012.