European & International News

States fail to agree Arms Trade Treaty but advocacy efforts continue

[Brussels, 30 July 2012] After a month of intense negotiations, the Arms Trade Treaty Diplomatic Conference has ended without a treaty. Women’s rights activists, including EWL members, nevertheless report successful advocacy efforts to ensure gender and women’s rights will be taken into account in future negotiations, to continue in the framework of the UN General Assembly.

Statement by the IANSA Women’s Network - International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)

After a month of intense negotiations, the Arms Trade Treaty Diplomatic Conference has ended without a treaty. The Chair, Ambassador Moritan of Argentina, stated, “my apologies are very deep because I was not up to the circumstances.” It is not the end, however. There will be other opportunities, among them at the General Assembly.

Mexico made a statement on behalf of 90 states declaring: “We are determined to secure an Arms Trade Treaty as soon as possible. One that would bring about a safer world for the sake of all humanity.”

In terms of our advocacy linking gender and women’s rights to the arms trade, we have made big strides. Considering that diplomats involved in the ATT process did not think gender had anything to do with this treaty when we began, the fact that gender-based violence made it into the draft with such widespread support shows that IANSA Women’s voices have been heard. The prominence and acknowledgement of GBV is an achievement in itself and will serve as a goodbasis to continue to make the links between gender and small arms control. We can hold governments accountable and begin to create a new norm, that the risk of gender-based violence must be considered before approving international arms transfers.

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