A tank in the streets of central London! We need an Arms Trade Treaty now

Louis Belanger

Blog post by Louis Belanger

Oxfam International, Media Officer
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Last week Oxfam and Amnesty, as part of the Control Arms Coalition, drove a tank around central London, startling passers-by and even getting stopped by the police for a documentation check. While the vehicle was admittedly unorthodox, it was the perfect way to deliver its message – that the world needs a strong, uncompromising treaty to regulate the global weapons trade.

Just days away from the start of the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York, the tank journey in London was part of a global day of action for the Control Arms campaign.

Thousands of campaigners from around the world took part – from banana manifestos in Times Square to fake arms sales in Barcelona.

The tank drove to the embassy or high commissions of India, South Africa, the USA, Brazil and Kenya – countries whose commitment is crucial to the negotiations next week.

Campaigners from Oxfam and Amnesty were joined by war photographer Paul Conroy in London. He recently returned from Syria after suffering serious injuries while following the Syrian army offensive on the city of Homs. Photo: Control Arms

At the moment, the sale of bananas and smart phones is more regulated than the sale of semi-automatic weapons and tanks. This is madness and must change.

At the UN conference, almost 200 governments are meeting for most of July where they have the chance to agree a new treaty that could bring the sales of arms under control and will help prevent weapons falling into the wrong hands, which could help to save thousands of lives.

Originally published by the Huffington Post.

Related links

The Control Arms campaign: Join the call for a bullet-proof Arms Trade Treaty 

FAQs: Why we need an Arms Trade Treaty

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