Tuesday April 24, 2007
The world needs a tough arms treaty
Ten years ago the treaty to ban landmines was signed in Ottawa, Canada. As journalists who have seen the devastating impact of conflict first-hand, we applauded the agreement.
Today a more ambitious treaty is being developed at the United Nations: a global arms trade treaty to regulate sales of all conventional arms. The challenge is to build a strong treaty to stop arms transfers that are likely to fuel serious human rights violations, conflict and poverty.
It is time that all governments took responsibility for the individual tragedies perpetrated with the weapons they supply: the woman raped at gunpoint, the young man crushed under the tracks of a battle tank, the child forced to become a soldier.
Currently, the UN secretary general is asking governments what they want the arms trade treaty to cover. We call on all governments to listen to the millions of people around the world who live in daily fear of armed violence, and build a treaty tough enough to protect them.
Christiane Amanpour CNN
Martin Bell ex-BBC correspondent
Sebastian Junger Vanity Fair
Jon Lee Anderson The New Yorker
Don McCullin freelance photographer
Paul Moreira Canal Plus
Jon Snow Channel 4 News
Charles Wheeler ex-BBC correspondentand 12 others