Oxfam International Blogs - armed violence http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/armed-violence en A global Arms Trade Treaty: a marathon not a sprint http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-08-13-global-arms-trade-treaty-marathon-not-sprint <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>The fight for an Arms Trade Treaty has been a marathon – not a sprint. Here, Oxfam’s Head of Arms Control Anna Macdonald sets out why she believes it’s worth staying the course.</em></p> <p><strong>The world has come within a hair’s breadth of agreeing a global Arms Trade Treaty. This would have been a huge step in the right direction for preventing genocide and human rights abuses by bringing the arms trade under control – and given the shocking atrocities unraveling in Syria each day, it’s definitely long overdue.</strong></p> <p>But on the last day of <strong><a href="http://www.un.org/disarmament/ATT/" target="_blank" title="UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty - 2-27 July 2012, New York" rel="nofollow">month-long negotiations at the UN</a></strong>, with agreement seemingly about to be reached,  the <strong><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/28/world/proponents-of-arms-trade-treaty-urge-final-approval.html/" title="U.N. Misses Its Deadline for Arms Pact - The New York Times - July 27, 2012" rel="nofollow">United States blocked the treaty</a></strong>, saying it needed more time to consider it. A final text had to be adopted on "the basis of consensus", a procedural rule insisted on by the US itself, and which effectively gave each country a veto. It was an anti-climax to a month of negotiations that had showed such promise. </p> <p>Frustration among supporter states quickly turned into determination, and a group statement from 90 states was read out by Mexico as the conference closed, laying down clearly that <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2012-07-28/battle-arms-trade-treaty-continues-governments-opt-delay-final-dea" target="_blank" title="Battle for an Arms Trade Treaty continues as Governments opt to delay final deal" rel="nofollow">they will continue to work for a strong ATT</a></strong> as soon as possible.</p> <p>The battle for an ATT has been a marathon.  A decade ago when we launched the <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/conflict/controlarms" target="_blank" title=" Join the campaign for a global Arms Trade Treaty" rel="nofollow">Control Arms campaign</a></strong>, the Arms Trade Treaty was dismissed by many governments as an idealistic fantasy. Activists around the world refused to give up, eventually the governments started listening – and have now spent a month discussing in detail every aspect of how to make the treaty a reality.</p> <h3>The fight is not over</h3> <p>Negotiations may have ended in a lack of consensus this time, but the fight is by no means over. Our hopes are now pinned on the UN General Assembly, which opens in late-September.   The General Assembly works on the basis of majority voting, not consensus so it is entirely feasible for an improved Treaty text to now be tabled and voted on.</p> <p><strong>The draft treaty text provides a basis for states to now build on</strong>, and which will enable the arms trade to brought under control. Work needs to be done to improve the text as there are still several loopholes – almost all there at the insistence of the US – which must be removed; but it remains a significant achievement. </p> <p>Indeed, there is much in the text which we can be proud of, including the centrality of <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/devil-detail-criteria-att" target="_blank" title=" The importance of comprehensive and legally binding criteria for arms transfers" rel="nofollow">strong criteria</a></strong> around international humanitarian and human rights law, as well as sustainable development, anti-corruption measures and gender-based violence. Conventional weapons, their parts and components and <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/stop-bullet-stop-war" target="_blank" title=" Why ammunition must be included in the Arms Trade Treaty" rel="nofollow">ammunition</a></strong> are in there. </p> <h3>Key changes are needed</h3> <p>It was positive to see the UK government stating their determination to see an ATT achieved in an open letter to the Control Arms coalition on Friday, but they were disappointingly coy both about the need to strengthen the text, and the specifics of the UN First Committee where a resolution will be tabled. The next stage MUST be with an improved text, not the loopholes that currently exist.  Now that the next phase is not bound by consensus, the UK and other treaty supporters should be immediately pushing for the strongest possible text, not compromising with loopholes imposed by the state which scuppered the July negotiations. </p> <p><strong>Among key changes needed in the draft, ammunition, the fuel of conflict</strong>, must be subject to the same controls as other arms; annual reporting by states must be public, not secret; and a current clause allowing “existing defence cooperation” contracts to continue needs to be removed.</p> <p>Strong treaties set international standards, and affect the behavior of all states, not just signatories. Strong treaties gain new members as well over the years. Weak treaties are…..weak treaties, and are rarely strengthened. </p> <h3>We must keep the pressure</h3> <p><strong>I have been fighting to help make an Arms Trade Treaty a reality for nearly a decade.</strong> For me, the reason why this all matters comes back to <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-06-26-control-arms-millionth-supporter-julius-arile-kenya" title=" a message from Kenya">Julius Arile</a></strong>, a young man from Kenya, who has been both a perpetrator and a victim of armed violence. He now uses his experience to campaign for peace, and to persuade other young people to put down their guns. </p> <p><strong>Julius got involved in armed violence as a young man.</strong> His brother had just been shot in dead in a cattle raid on his village and so he picked up a gun and joined other young men in retaliatory raids. After his best friend died next to him, he put down his gun, and started to run instead. He discovered a new skill, and a new life opened up for him as a professional runner. </p> <p>Earlier this summer, I spent a week in Kenya with Julius. I travelled to his home village in West Pokot,  in the north-west, and met with many survivors of armed violence. Their stories of armed cattle raiding, of children being caught in the crossfire, and of families being destroyed were heartbreaking.  Their appeal to the world to stop the flood of weapons into their communities was equally strong.  None of the weapons killing these people’s families were made in Africa - yet it is African lives they have destroyed. </p> <p><strong>As a marathon runner Julius knows all about pacing, about stamina and above all determination.</strong> All those working for an ATT will need to dig deep and find those skills now. </p> <p>There is no doubt in my mind that we will see an Arms Trade Treaty achieved.  We will need to work to get there. The text needs to be strengthened, supporter states need to regroup and campaigners must keep up the pressure in capitals around the world. </p> <p><strong>Global change can - and does - happen.</strong> It is not a sprint, it takes a long time. But with persistence, drive and downright tenacity, we will get there.  It is too important not to.  With momentum growing for an autumn agreement, the UK government will need to choose if they stay as a race leader or get left behind.</p> <h3>Related links</h3> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-05-25-control-arms-sign-press-world-governments-support-bulletproof-arms-trade-treaty"></a><strong>Sign up: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-05-25-control-arms-sign-press-world-governments-support-bulletproof-arms-trade-treaty">Support a bulletproof arms trade treaty</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-07-20-uk-and-us-save-arms-trade-treaty-negotiations">UK and US: Save the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations</a></strong></p> <p><strong>In depth: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy?keys=ATT" rel="nofollow">Oxfam policy reports supporting an Arms Trade Treaty</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>A global Arms Trade Treaty: a marathon not a sprint</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/12-08-13-marathon-traite-commerce-armes" title="Le marathon du traité sur le commerce des armes" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-08-16-un-tratado-sobre-el-comercio-de-armas-es-un-maraton-no-una-carrera" title="Un Tratado sobre el Comercio de Armas: es un maratón, no una carrera" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Mon, 13 Aug 2012 12:15:50 +0000 Anna MacDonald 9933 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-08-13-global-arms-trade-treaty-marathon-not-sprint#comments UK and US: Save the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-07-20-uk-and-us-save-arms-trade-treaty-negotiations <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>At the Arms Trade Treaty conference at the UN in New York, delegates have been dragging their feet, playing musical chairs and generally skirting around discussions. </strong>With disagreements from the start, the talks are not on track. So, we need States to pick up the pace to ensure that a bulletproof treaty is agreed when the conference closes on July 27th.</p> <p><strong>We are on the brink of an historic victory in the creation of a worldwide Arms Trade Treaty. </strong>Yet, despite our campaigning, a small minority of sceptical countries continue to delay talks and argue for a weak treaty that would have little effect. More than ever before, your voice is urgently needed, to ensure that governments deliver on a strong and comprehensive Treaty.</p> <p><strong>When it comes to armed violence, the numbers are scary. <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/stop-bullet-stop-war" rel="nofollow">12 billion bullets</a></strong> are produced ever year, enough to kill each person on earth twice. Every day 1,500 people are killed in armed violence around the world - 750,000 a year – and that's not counting the thousands more who are injured, raped, or forced to flee from their homes as a result of the unregulated global arms trade. Many of the weapons used in these killings are illegally-traded small arms, yet there are no global rules for the arms trade.</p> <p>Right now, you can make a difference by targeting two of the most influential players in the negotiations; UK Foreign Minister William Hague and the US President, Barack Obama.</p> <h3><strong>Act now: </strong><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/find-an-action/arms-treaty-hague" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Tell William Hague to help get the talks back on track</a></strong></h3> <p>The UK is one country that has come out strongly in support of rigorous criteria to prevent any arms transfers which would violate human rights law, saying the treaty "<a href="http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/global-issues/arms-control/arms-trade-treaty/" rel="nofollow"><strong>has the potential to bring real and significant benefits to UN all member states</strong></a>."</p> <p>But over the last several days, new discussion papers have been released on various aspects of the Treaty, which, while not to be considered as Treaty text, are a strong indication of what the final Treaty will look like when presented very soon. Many of the elements that <a href="http://www.controlarms.org" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Control Arms</strong></a> has called for are not in these papers.</p> <p>If we want a bulletproof treaty, now is the time to speak out for these elements to be reintroduced. And now William Hague must use his influence to bring the talks back on track.</p> <h3><strong>Act now:</strong><strong> </strong><a href="https://secure.oxfamamerica.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&amp;page=UserAction&amp;id=1325&amp;autologin=true&amp;utm_source=ATT120718&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=2995621&amp;utm_campaign=OAAFadvocacy&amp;JServSessionIdr004=ie3wsn7l22.app228b" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Tell President Obama: Don't cave on the Arms Trade Treaty!</strong></a></h3> <p>President Obama's negotiating team is sitting down with other UN delegates this week to discuss the final elements of the Arms Trade Treaty – but they are about to take a step in the wrong direction.</p> <p>Instead of creating a bulletproof treaty that finally regulates the international exchange of arms, the US and other UN delegations could cave in and allow a major loophole that would let states legally supply weapons to war criminals and human rights abusers by citing national security concerns. A loophole like this could open the treaty up to easy exploitation by people in power who support rogue regimes, including those that suppress human rights and prey on their own populations. You can tell Obama to stand up for millions of people who could be affected by armed violence.</p> <p>A strong Arms Trade Treaty – one that values human rights and prevents arms from getting to human rights abusers in the first place – is a vital part of our ongoing fight against poverty and injustice. <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/conflict/controlarms" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam</strong></a> has been campaigning for international arms regulations for nearly a decade, but it all comes down to what happens at the UN negotiations.</p> <h3>Read more</h3> <p><strong>The Control Arms campaign: </strong><strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-05-25-control-arms-sign-press-world-governments-support-bulletproof-arms-trade-treaty">Join the call for a bullet-proof Arms Trade Treaty</a> </strong></p> <p><strong>FAQs: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/conflict/controlarms/why-we-need-global-arms-trade-treaty" rel="nofollow">Why we need an Arms Trade Treaty</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>UK and US: Save the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations</h2></div> Fri, 20 Jul 2012 11:15:31 +0000 Øistein Thorsen 9915 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-07-20-uk-and-us-save-arms-trade-treaty-negotiations#comments Encuentro con Julius Arile, de la campaña Armas bajo Control: un mensaje desde Kenia http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/9903 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>A tan sólo unos días del inicio la reunión de gobiernos en Nueva York para negociar el Tratado sobre el Comercio de Armas que podría ordenar el flujo descontrolado de armas y municiones; me reuní con un amigo de muchos años de la campaña, Julius Arile, en su casa de Pokot Occidental, en la provincia noroeste de Kenia en el Valle del Rift.</p> <p> </p> <p>Cuando era joven, Julius estuvo involucrado en violencia armada. <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/policy/briefingnotes/bn_ak_47_es" rel="nofollow">Con una AK47</a></strong> robaba ganado y describe su vida en ese entonces:</p> <p>“[La vida] era muy difícil. No sabíamos lo que nos esperaba, así que peleábamos y estábamos armados.”</p> <p>“Un día, los Karamojong (un grupo étnico de Uganda) nos atacaron, peleamos y mi amigo fue asesinado frente a mis ojos. Cuando lo vi morir, huí, y fue cuando me di cuenta de que ‘esto no estaba bien’. La próxima vez podía ser yo, así que dejé las armas.”</p> <p>Fue en ese momento que Julius decidió convencer a otras personas de dejar las armas y la vía violenta. Dejó su AK47 y se convirtió en activista a favor de la paz y en líder de su comunidad; además se embarcó en una nueva y emocionante vida: se hizo corredor de maratones. En 2006, Julius acudió a las Naciones Unidas en Nueva York para pedirle al entonces Secretario General Ban Ki-moon y a otros líderes que empezaran a trabajar en un tratado sobre el comercio de armas.</p> <p>De la misma manera que Julius, otras personas han dejado las armas para unirse a la campaña de Control de Armas desde 2006. Sin embargo, los esfuerzos de la gente no serán fructíferos para terminar con los abusos a los derechos humanos, si los gobiernos no actúan para frenar el flujo de armas dentro de las comunidades más pobres y las zonas más conflictivas, a través de la firma de un Tratado efectivo y fortalecido de Comercio de Armas.</p> <p>En la petición hecha a la ONU, Julius llama a los gobiernos a dar un solo mensaje: apoyar un Tratado de Comercio de Armas que realmente haga la diferencia en las vidas y comunidades como la suya.</p> Actúa ahora <p><strong>Firma: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/es/blogs/12-06-04-armas-bajo-control-queremos-un-tratado-prueba-de-balas">¡Queremos un tratado a prueba de balas!</a></strong></p> Más información: <p><strong>Informe: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/policy/un-atraco-mano-armada" rel="nofollow">Un atraco a mano armada: Cómo la falta de regulación del comercio de armas está paralizando el desarrollo</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Encuentro con Julius Arile, de la campaña Armas bajo Control: un mensaje desde Kenia</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_en first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-06-26-control-arms-millionth-supporter-julius-arile-kenya" title="Meeting the Control Arms &#039;Millionth Supporter&#039; Julius Arile: a message from Kenya" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/12-07-02-rencontre-avec-julius-arile-millionieme-visage-campagne-controlez-armes" title="Rencontre avec Julius Arile, le « Millionième visage » de la campagne Contrôlez les armes" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Mon, 09 Jul 2012 14:02:25 +0000 Anna MacDonald 9903 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/9903#comments Meeting the Control Arms 'Millionth Supporter' Julius Arile: a message from Kenya http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-06-26-control-arms-millionth-supporter-julius-arile-kenya <div class="field field-name-body"><p>With just a few days before governments meet in New York to negotiate an Arms Trade Treaty that could bring the uncontrolled trade of arms and ammunition to heel, I met with a <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/news/pressreleases2006/pr060626_arms_petition" rel="nofollow"><strong>long-time friend</strong></a> of the campaign, Julius Arile, in his home of West Pokot, in the Rift Valley province of North-West Kenya.</p> <p> </p> <p>As a young man, Julius was involved in armed violence. He would rustle cattle armed with an <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/bn0606_ak47" rel="nofollow"><strong>AK47</strong></a>. He describes life then:</p> <p>"[Life] was very difficult. We didn't know what was ahead of us, so we used to fight and we used guns.</p> <p>"One day, the <strong><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/katine/2009/feb/17/karamojong-background" rel="nofollow">Karamojong</a></strong> [an ethnic group from Uganda] came to us, to attack our place. Then we were fighting. My friend was killed beside me. When I saw him die, I ran. And that's when I realised 'this is not good'. Next time it could have been me. So I took off my gun."</p> <p>That was when Julius decided to tell others to do the same; lay down their weapons and move away from violence and fighting. He gave up his AK47 to become a peace activist and leader in his community, as well as embarking on an exciting new life for himself, as a <strong><a href="http://www.iaaf.org/athletes/biographies/letter=l/athcode=248699/index.html" rel="nofollow">marathon runner</a></strong>. In 2006, Julius came to the United Nations in New York to ask the then Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other leaders to start work on an arms trade treaty.</p> <p>Like Julius, others have put down their guns to join the Control Arms campaign since 2006. But the efforts of individuals can only be successful in putting an end to gun-related human rights abuses if governments act to stop the flood of weapons into the world's poorest communities and the worst conflict zones, by signing a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty.</p> <p>In his plea to leaders at the UN, Julius calls governments to give one unified message: to support an Arms Trade Treaty that really makes a difference to lives and communities like his.</p> Take action <p><strong>Sign up: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-05-25-control-arms-sign-press-world-governments-support-bulletproof-arms-trade-treaty">Support a bulletproof arms trade treaty</a></strong></p> Related links: <p><strong>Watch: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRsqkFA1Lh0" rel="nofollow">Anna MacDonald explains why we need a global Arms Trade Treaty now</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Read: <a href="http://attmonitor.posterous.com/" rel="nofollow">ATT Monitor: Control Arms blog</a></strong></p> <p><strong>In depth: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy?keys=ATT" rel="nofollow">Oxfam policy reports supporting an Arms Trade Treaty</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Meeting the Control Arms &#039;Millionth Supporter&#039; Julius Arile: a message from Kenya</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/12-07-02-rencontre-avec-julius-arile-millionieme-visage-campagne-controlez-armes" title="Rencontre avec Julius Arile, le « Millionième visage » de la campagne Contrôlez les armes" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-07-09-encuentro-con-julius-arile-de-la-campana-armas-bajo-control-un-mensaje-desde-kenia" title="Encuentro con Julius Arile, de la campaña Armas bajo Control: un mensaje desde Kenia" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Tue, 26 Jun 2012 14:55:42 +0000 Anna MacDonald 9896 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-06-26-control-arms-millionth-supporter-julius-arile-kenya#comments