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Peace Dove Jeff Clark,

Peace Dove Jeff Clark,

Join MCC in supporting an International Arms Trade Treaty

Adrienne Wiebe

This article was first published on MCC Latin America Advocacy Blog

By Adrienne Wiebe, MCC Policy Analyst and Educator for Latin America and the Caribbean. Adrienne is based in Mexico City.

Join MCC in supporting an International Arms Trade Treaty

Armed Violence in Numbers

2 of 3 people killed by armed violence die in countries at peace

2 bullets are produced each year for each person on the planet

700 people are estimated to be killed with arms each day in Latin America

As MCC workers in Latin America, we see firsthand the injuries, deaths, and suffering caused by guns and other weapons. The current violence in Mexico and Central America, the on-going internal armed conflict in Colombia, and violence in marginal urban neighbourhoods throughout the region are evidence of the easy availability of weapons.

At the national level, governments attempt to regulate the sale and possession of arms, however increased globalization of arms production and marketing requires a coordinated set of legally-binding regulations at the international level.

How can the sale of bananas be more tightly controlled than the sale of machine guns?”  Anna MacDonald, Oxfam UK[i]

In 2012, during a month-long conference in New York, UN member states will complete negotiations of a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). This will be the culmination of 15 years of civil society advocacy and government negotiations for binding common standards to prevent irresponsible transfers of conventional arms.

Mennonite Central Committee has joined a world-wide campaign of civil society and faith-based organizations calling on the United Nations member states to ratify a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).  The Interfaith Declaration that MCC is supporting includes Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic leaders and faith-based organizations from around the world.[ii]

An Arms Trade Treaty would require States to:
  • adopt and implement national mechanisms that expressly authorize international transfers of arms;
  • prohibit the transfer of arms that would be used to violate internationally established standards of human rights, international humanitarian law and non-aggression;
  • not authorize transfers of weapons that would adversely affect sustainable development, regional peace and security or be used in the commission of violent crimes.[iii]


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