India has a unique and historic opportunity to help reduce the human suffering and instability caused by the reckless and poorly regulated trade in weapons, munitions and military and security equipment.
In July 2012, India along with other States will gather at the UN for the final round of negotiations on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). India must ensure the treaty has a Golden Rule to help protect human rights. This rule should require States to employ a rigorous, objective, case-by-case risk assessment of a proposed transfer or sale of arms. Such assessments should ensure that these arms will not be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. An ATT without the Golden Rule will be meaningless. The treaty must also cover all conventional arms, all types of trade, transfers and transactions and have strong implementation mechanisms.
Disturbingly, global society has no treaty to ensure the strict control of the international trade in conventional arms. That's why governments can easily license irresponsible arms flows to fuel human atrocities and abuse.
Indias citizens have suffered repeated armed attacks and India has stated that its security interests have been affected by illicit and irresponsible transfers, especially of small arms, light weapons and explosives.
War crimes, unlawful killings, torture and other serious human rights abuses have been committed around the world using a wide range of weapons, munitions and military and security equipment. These are often provided to perpetrators in almost unlimited supply, encouraging and prolonging unlawful violence. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, injured, raped and forced to flee from their homes as a result. Global society has no treaty to ensure the strict control of the international trade in conventional arms, while governments license irresponsible arms flows to fuel human atrocities and abuse.
States must stop allowing irresponsible transfers of arms and be made accountable to the international community. That is why since the 1990s Amnesty International has been campaigning for a global treaty to set rules for the strict regulation of the international arms trade.
Now an international Arms Trade Treaty is finally within reach. Leading up to July 2012, all governments will negotiate the text of the treaty at the United Nations. Amnesty International believes it is crucial that the treaty includes:
- Strong rules that protect human rights, preventing arms from being sent to those who would most likely use them to seriously violate these rights;
- A control list that includes all types of weapons, munitions and other arms;
- Clear rules to apply and monitor the Treaty with reporting to ensure they are enforced.
Our message is simple if there is a substantial risk that arms exported to another country will contribute to serious human rights abuses, those arms supplies must be stopped.
No more arms for atrocities or abuses!
The international trade in conventional arms is not the only arms control issue addressed by Amnesty International. We also research and address problems posed by inhumane weapons, less lethal weapons and inhumane technologies used in policing and prisons.
Sign up to the People's Treaty!
Today, there are no global standards controlling the international trade in conventional arms to help protect human rights. Most governments continue to permit the irresponsible trade in weapons, munitions and other military and policing equipment, inflicting misery and carnage on people in many countries.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people are killed, injured, raped and forced to flee their homes as a result of armed violence. Amnesty Internationals research shows that the majority of grave human rights abuses are committed using small arms, light weapons and other military and policing equipment.
To protect human rights, governments must prevent easy access to arms, and strictly regulate their lawful uses. Armed forces and police are too often poorly trained and unaccountable when measured by international human rights standards. Opposition groups, vigilantes, criminal gangs and civilians can also easily access and misuse arms, sometimes on a massive scale. Surplus and unlawful arms need to be removed and destroyed. And new supplies must urgently be restricted.
In order to help stop irresponsible arms transfers globally, Amnesty International has joined with Oxfam and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) to set up the Control Arms campaign.
The Control Arms campaign calls for a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that would establish strict rules for the international transfer of arms, and hold irresponsible arms suppliers and dealers to account.
A "golden rule" is desperately needed in an ATT that would require governments to stop an arms transfer when there is a substantial risk that the arms are likely to be used for serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.
Since 2003, the Control Arms campaign has gone from strength to strength. When it was launched, we had only a handful of government supporters. Control Arms petitions gathered the support of more than one million people worldwide. Popular mobilisation coupled with smart advocacy in over 100 countries has resulted in increasingly large historic votes at the UN General Assembly in favour of developing a "strong and robust" ATT.
But what kind of Arms Trade Treaty will they agree? Formal deliberations and negotiations on the treaty text will start in July 2010 and lead to a UN conference in 2012. Will the treaty cover all types of arms transfers and contain a "golden rule? Or will supportive governments surrender to the few sceptical powers which have opposed the treaty and who now seek to include major loopholes in the treaty?
You can join the Control Arms campaign in demanding a strong and robust ATT that will have proper rules to really help save lives, protect livelihoods and prevent further grave abuses of human rights.
To find out more, and add your voice and face to the campaign, visit our website at www.controlarms.org
Further information and campaigning materials:
Killer facts: The impact of the irresponsible arms trade on lives, rights and livelihoods (Document, 6 May 2010)
Reform of security forces in Guinea must deliver justice for Bloody Monday massacre (Report, 23 February 2010)
t comes to me as no surprise that there are people who are scared of the future and the growing popuplation especially in Africa seems to be posing a threat to them. The race for resources which are very much found in that continent makes them be a tartget for culling. The arms companies are owned by known people and most of the companies are funders of the governments that safe guard their existance. It is sad that the international community has no power or has refused to stop the killing of innoccent people, women and children. It is also pathetic that weapons have been found being distributed by the same peace keepers, betraying the people and member states.
To hell with the arms companies and the united nations nations, which has showed that its toothless.
Good news! By one of the widest margins in years, the House has rejected the administration's request to build a new nuclear weapon.
By a bipartisan vote of 271 to 145, the House refused to add money for the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) to its military authorization bill. This vote is particularly important because the RRW would have been the first new U.S. nuclear weapon in two decades and could have led to resumed nuclear testing.
The vote also gives you an opportunity to tell your representative that you oppose all efforts to rebuild the nuclear weapons program. Despite this victory, some members of Congress still want the United States to build new nuclear weapons.
Representatives who voted against new nukes need a big "thank you"! If your representative voted for the new nukes money, let her or him know how disappointed you are. You can contact your representative directly through FCNL's website. When you enter your zip code, you'll see a sample message that reflects how your representative voted. See the complete vote count.
Here's What Happened
In February, the administration asked for money to build the new warhead in its budget. Thanks in part to your lobbying, the House Armed Services committee eliminated all money for the program when it edited ("marked up") the military authorization bill, which determines which military programs can receive funding.
But when the bill came to the House floor, Rep. Steve Pearce (NM) introduced an amendment to include the $10 million for the RRW that had been requested by the administration. Forty-four Republicans joined with all but one Democrat to defeat the amendment, making a strong statement against new nuclear weapons.
Since this vote, the RRW has been defeated again: the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee deleted RRW funding from the House Energy and Water Appropriations bill. This bill determines how much money the government will spend on nuclear weapons in the upcoming fiscal year.
The Senate still needs to act on its funding bills, so the RRW is not dead yet. But thanks to your help, chances are good the Senate will follow the House's lead and refuse to fund the program.
Find out more
The USA hasn't learned form past mistake and I don't think they ever will. And it is amazing what the Queen of England owns. ISn't it? Weapons of mass destruction seems to be popular in these two countries. Did they get them from Iraq since none were found there? Wouldn't you like to know how much profit cheney has made from this war?
Arms Makers bottom line is making money and killing !
Answer to this :
Ban Arms Makers - Ban War - Promote Peace
of England owns 2 companies that make cluster bombs! Princess Diana was head of her own charity for children maimed by bombs hidden in the fields, on roads, any thoughts there about why she was killed in a speeding car. Just a thought eh!
Even after the House Armed Services Committee already decided to eliminate funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead last week, Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM) introduced amendments to the House defense authorization bill that would add $10 million for the Reliable Replacement Warhead. He has also introduced a second amendment that would increase funding for plutonium pit manufacturing by $50 million. Plutonium pits are the essential component for creating a nuclear reaction.
At a time when the United States is trying to convince the rest of the world to abstain from developing nuclear weapons, we should not be building new nuclear weapons.
Tell your member of Congress to oppose any funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead and for pit manufacturing and pit manufacturing capability. Going forward with both programs would be dangerous and expensive.
Visit our website at www.wagingpeace.org
Please urge your Senators to sign onto a Dear Colleague letter asking the United States to support the development of a global arms trade treaty. During an October vote at the United Nations, the United States was the only country to vote "no" on a resolution that would start the process for such a treaty.
In early December, the United States will have another opportunity to vote on this resolution in the General Assembly. Encouragement from your Senator and others could lead the United States government to change its vote and support a global arms trade treaty. Thank you for taking the time to contact your Senator »
Amnesty International USA
Does that mean that I can kill your family, burn down your house and get a billion dollars from Washington to build whatever I want to build on your property ?
What a swell deal !!!
Very good indeed. An estimated 655,000 dead Iraqis, over 3,000 dead coalition troops, billions stolen from Iraq's coffers, a country battered by civil war - but Halliburton turned a profit, so the results are very good.
Very good certainly for Vice President Dick Cheney, who resigned from Halliburton in 2000 with a $33.7 million retirement package (not bad for roughly four years of work). In a stunning conflict of interest, Cheney still holds more than 400,000 stock options in the company. Why pursue diplomacy when you can rake in a personal fortune from war?
To rebuild, first it must be destroyed. One hand washes the other. It's all about money folks.
While dozens of U.S. corporations have received contracts for reconstruction work in Iraq, the seven largest contracts went to: Parsons Corporation of Pasadena, CA ($5.3 billion); Fluor Corporation of Aliso Viejo, CA ($3.75 billion); Washington Group International of Boise, ID ($3.1 billion); Shaw Group of Baton Rouge, LA ($3 billion); Bechtel Corporation of San Francisco, CA ($2.8 billion); Perini Corporation of Framingham, MA ($2.5 billion); and Contrack International, Inc. of Arlington, VA ($2.3 billion).
Raytheon 3Q Profit Rises 41 Percent
Four arrested in protest against Caterpillar
March 17th, 2006
March 17, 2006 (PEORIA, Ill.) - Four people arrested during a protest outside Caterpillar Incorporated's world headquarters in Peoria have all been released on their own recognizance.Peoria police say the four arrested for disorderly conduct yesterday afternoon were among about three dozen people who were protesting Caterpillar's sale of armored bulldozers to Israel. Three of them were from Missouri and one was from Chicago.
The protesters complain that Caterpillar bulldozers sold to the Israeli military have been used to knock down houses along the Gaza Strip. Yesterday was the third anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American who was killed when she stood in front of a bulldozer being driven by an Israeli soldier to stop him from demolishing a house.
Bu$h and BŁair
what a pair
no sense from
either the two.
War criminals both?
Say hi to the CIA
which baby did they kill today?
imagine there’s no country
when an anthem of possibility
is banned in the name of patriotism
imagine there’s no county
when an oil-hungry
wind-up toy hypocrisy
spits and %#&!*% on the meaning
imagine a nation
born of a vision
the land where freedom rang
from ocean to ocean
a safe haven for those
scorched by the torch of oppression
only now the mountains are crumbling to the seas
and we are slowly drowning
stumbling to our knees
like we were born hands free
to bear arms
even we who don’t believe in war
and can’t bear to further bury the poor
and I imagine
would roll over in their graves
if they heard you trying to ban a song
wasn’t it them saying
imagine our destiny
to be a light unto the nations
through the torch of liberty
to stand up for justice and truth
for all the people of the world
not just the one class or one race
because we are each one face
one race of citizen
under the spirit of John Lennon
calling every true American
to imagine resurrection
Press release, 10/02/2006
New report by Control Arms Campaign:
Oxfam International, Amnesty International and International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)
The globalisation of the arms industry has opened up major loopholes in all current arms export regulations, allowing sales to human rights abusers and countries under arms embargoes, according to a new report by the Control Arms Campaign.
The report, Arms without Borders, is launched today as the United Nations opens its annual session on arms control, in the run up to a landmark vote at the UN to start work on an Arms Trade Treaty.
The report reveals that US, EU and Canadian companies are among those able to circumvent arms regulations by selling weapon components and subcontracting arms manufacturing overseas. The report details how weapons, including attack helicopters and combat trucks, are being assembled from foreign components and manufactured under licence in countries including China, Egypt, India, Israel and Turkey.
The report shows how these or similar weapons have ended up in destinations such as Colombia, Sudan and Uzbekistan where they have reportedly been used for the killing and displacement of civilians, highlighting the urgent need for global rules to regulate an increasingly globalised industry.
"This report reveals a litany of loopholes and destroyed lives. Arms companies are global, yet arms regulations are not, and the result is the arming of abusive regimes. Europe and North America are fast becoming the IKEA of the arms industry, supplying parts for human rights abusers to assemble at home, with the morals not included. It is time for an Arms Trade Treaty," said Jeremy Hobbs, Director of Oxfam International.
The report exposes two major loopholes that allow arms companies to legally circumvent arms regulations, including arms embargoes:
You can’t sell it whole, but you can sell it in individual pieces
- The European Union has an arms embargo against China; the United States and Canada refuse to sell attack helicopters to China, yet, China’s new Z-10 attack helicopter would not fly without parts and technology from a UK/Italian company (AugustaWestland), a Canadian company (Pratt & Whitney Canada), a US company (Lord Corporation) and a Franco-German company (Eurocopter). China has previously sold attack helicopters to a number of countries including Sudan, which is under a full EU arms embargo and a partial UN arms embargo.
- The Apache helicopter, used by Israel in the recent Lebanon crisis, is made up of over 6,000 parts manufactured worldwide, including in UK, the Netherlands and Ireland. Under the EU Code of Conduct, these countries should refuse to export attack helicopters directly to Israel.
You can’t sell from here, but you can sell from over there
- In May 2005, Uzbek security forces fired on demonstrators, killing hundreds of people. The Uzbek military used military Land Rovers during the massacre, which were made up of 70 per cent British parts. The Land Rover parts were sent “flat pack” to Turkey, where they were assembled and made into military vehicles. The vehicles were then supplied to the Uzbek government. The UK government has no control over the deal because the vehicles were not assembled and converted into military vehicles in the UK.
EU arms makers don’t have to sacrifice profits for the sake of principle, instead they can simply subcontract,” said Rebecca Peters, Director of the International Action Network on Small Arms." For example, the Austrian gun company Glock is trying to establish a production plant in Brazil. If that goes ahead, Glock will be able to circumvent the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports by shipping guns from its Brazilian plant."
The report also shows that the technology revolutionising the arms industry is often the same as that used in the home, and that it is frequently unregulated. For example, the digital signal processors used in the latest DVD players can also be found in target acquisition systems for fighter jet missile systems, yet when the technology is sold for use in military planes it is not regulated.
"Arms trade laws are so out of date that the sales of army helmets are more regulated than the components assembled into deadly weapons. What the world needs is an effective international Arms Trade Treaty that will stop the flow of arms to those that commit human rights abuses," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
Facts and figures:
By the end of this year, military spending is estimated to reach an unprecedented US$1,058.9 billion, which is roughly fifteen times international aid expenditure. This is higher than the Cold War record reached in 1987/8 of US$1,034 in today’s prices.
In 2005, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany together accounted for an estimated 82 per cent of all arms transfers. Brazil, India, Israel, Singapore, South Africa and South Korea now all have arms companies in the world’s top 100.
Further information :
Control Arms website
Read the full report (PDF)
Call for the Swift Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (click link to sign petition)
IT IS NOW 60 YEARS since the first session of the UN General Assembly adopted its first resolution in January 1946 pledging to move towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. Today, the overwhelming majority of both the people and the governments of the world are demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, a large number of nuclear weapons, enough to annihilate the whole of humanity, are still being stockpiled and deployed.
In particular, the government of the United States, the biggest nuclear power, declares that it will retain its massive nuclear arsenals into the foreseeable future. On the grounds of needing to cope with the “dangers of terrorism and nuclear proliferation, it is continuing to wage war and even developing plans to use nuclear weapons and build new nuclear warheads. These actions betray the first UN resolution, as well as the unequivocal undertaking to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, agreed upon in 2000 by the nuclear weapon states' governments at the NPT Review Conference. Further, they run counter to the purpose and the basic principle of the United Nations to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and to settle international disputes by peaceful means.
Together with the Hibakusha, the A-bomb survivors, we have worked to spread around the world their message that Hiroshima/Nagasaki should never be repeated. This has helped to prevent the outbreak of nuclear war on many occasions and build up global momentum in support of the abolition of nuclear weapons. Now people on all continents share this goal and are joining together in actions to carry forward this effort to turn the rest of the 21st century into an era where humans are liberated from the danger of nuclear war. A total ban on nuclear weapons is also the only sure way to remove the danger of nuclear proliferation.
In pursuit of a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world, we herewith urge the United Nations Organization and all governments of the world, including the nuclear weapons states, to begin negotiations with no further delay to reach an international convention for a total ban on, and the elimination of, nuclear weapons.
We call on you to collect signaturs in support of the swift abolition of
nuclear weapons and join a joint submission of the signatures to the UN,
which is planned in the beginning of October (hopefully around Oct. 2-4) by
Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) . We also ask abolition
friends to help and cooperate in holding this event in the UN. We welcome
your participation in whatever forms, such as collecting signatures in your
country, sending your signatures to us for the submission, and joining the
In the Abolition 2000 General Assembly held in Vancouver, we proposed the
joint submission and it was agreed by consensus as a campaign of Abolition
2000. As you are aware of, this signature campaign was endorsed by a lot
of prominent people and leading activists and also by Abolition 2000
Abolition Now working committee. You can make an online signing and
download signature forms of English, French, Spanish, Russian, Korean,
German languages from our website:
http://www10. plala.or. jp/antiatom/ html/e/e- sig_swift/ Swift-index. html
Gensuikyo will send a delegation of hopefully 30 people to the UN and USA
on Oct. 1-8 & 9. The delegation will stay in New York on Oct. 1-4 when the
First Committee will start, and on the 5th, we will divide the delegation
into two groups; and one will go to Boston & New Hampshire, and the other
will go to California to take joint action with USA groups to arouse public
opinion for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons with focus on the
midterm election of the Bush administration. The delegation will include
Hibakusha and leading activists.
In Japan, we have so far collected about 600,000 signatures, and we also
have gotten many endorsements internationally, including prominent and
leading figures of various fields. Of course, we will add a lot more
signatures by October, and we are conducting nationwide campaign to ask all
local govenment heads (now, about 2000 heads in Japan) to endorse it. We
will bring the endorsements of at least a half of all government heads to
the UN. This time, we will submit the list of signers, in particular, of local
government heads, with some real signatures.
Even if it is a symbolic one, we want to hold the joint submission, and we
think that we should do this kind of action in the UN. When the NPT Review
Conference was held, we, together with Abolition 2000 members, brought
signatures to NY and submitted to the UN, it could have impact on
international politics and encourage worldwide anti-nuclear and peace
movements. We think that we need to keep the momentum that we had created at the time of the NPT RevConf.
Emphasizing the role of the UN to play for world peace and survival of
humanity, the call for the swift abolition of nuclear weapons urges the UN
and all governments of the world, including the nuclear weapons states, to
begin negotiations with no further delay to reach an international
convention for a total ban on and the elimination of nuclear weapons. The
2006 World Conference against A and H Bombs, which took place on Aug. 2-9 in
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, further confirmed to pursue this di
Irresponsible and illegal arms transfers continue to perpetuate violent conflicts and countless human rights violations around the world. This is why Amnesty International, Oxfam, and the International Action Network on Small Arms started the Control Arms Campaign in 2003. Through this campaign, AIUSA is focusing on encouraging the United States to lead efforts to establish strict guidelines on the international transfer of small arms and light weapons.
It so many ways this Administation has turned back the clock on progress but especially in Human Rights!
The mood of the United States in the early part of the 1930's was extremely isolationist. A special investigation was undertaken by the Senate under the leadership of Senator Nye of North Dakota, to determine whether arms manufacturers had made undo profits during Word War I. The answer was overwhelmingly affirmative. Thus, the argument went that the United States became involved in World War I at the behest of the arms makers.
As a result, the Congress began to discuss a resolution that would limit American involvement in foreign wars.
The president requested a law that would allow him to place an embargo on arms to the country that he considered the aggressor, while continuing to sell arms to the victim. The Congress rejected the administration's bill and instead voted for a bill that stated that whenever the president declared a state of war to exist, he must declare an arms embargo on all sides. Roosevelt reluctantly signed the bill into law.
Anybody wanna go to the fair? Let's all go to the fair. What fun!
India Calls Global Arms Makers For Joint Ventures, Vows To Upgrade Airforce
The country has in the past few years bought the Phalcon radar system (pictured) from Israel for 1.1 billion dollars, a used aircraft carrier from Russia for 1.5 billion dollars and 66 Hawk jet trainer planes from Britain for 1.45 billion dollars.by Pratap Chakravarty
New Delhi (AFP) Jan 31, 2006
Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday urged global arms makers to enter joint military production ventures in India, as top companies showed off their latest hardware at an arms fair in New Delhi. Related
"This event showcases our capabilities to deliver military product at competitive prices and we wish to strike mutually beneficial arrangements with friendly countries," Mukherjee said, opening a four-day Defence Exposition.
Britain, France, Germany, Israel, South Korea, Russia and the United States are among 38 countries which have sent 420 of their leading arms manufacturers to the exposition.
India, which in 2004 emerged as Asia's largest arms importer, is known to be shopping for 126 fighter jets and missile protection systems.
Experts say the deals are worth more than eight billion dollars and that countries such as the US, Britain, Russia and Switzerland are leading contenders.
"Our defence production units have taken a market-friendly approach and offer an opportunity to bring in global technologies for joint production and export to third countries," said Mukherjee, whose Congress party is credited with opening India's market to competition.
"And today, 100 percent participation in Indian defence projects is possible," the defence minister said.
India generally allows only 26 percent private equity in state-controlled sectors. But a 50-50 partnership between India and its largest military supplier Russia for the successful co-production of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos marked a change in direction in the arms sector.
K.P. Singh, secretary of India's defence procurement sector, told delegates from companies such as US-based Raytheon, British Aerospace and French Thales that India offered the perfect environment for military partnerships.
"India has a well-established manufacturing base to make items ranging from aircraft to software products and a number of changes have been made in our policy to give greater freedom to the private sector to ensure they become global players," Singh said.
Arun Bhgatram of Confederation of Indian Industries trade lobby also extolled the virtues of India's defence sector.
"A conductive atmosphere backed by skilled workforce and technology now exists in India for fruitful joint ventures," the industrialist said.
Mukherjee later told a news conference that New Delhi was actively working to replace its ageing fleet of military jets.
"... We have to phase out our ageing aircraft and also upgrade our inventory just like we are doing with the (Russian-built) Sukhoi-30s," he said.
India's mainstay MiG-21 aircraft are more than three decades old.
The country has in the past few years bought the Phalcon radar system from Israel for 1.1 billion dollars, a used aircraft carrier from Russia for 1.5 billion dollars and 66 Hawk jet trainer planes from Britain for 1.45 billion dollars.
The domestic defence sector faces a severe technological shortfall, mainly due to international sanctions imposed because of India's nuclear weapons programme. These ban the transfer of technology with possible military applications from the West.
In the fiscal year ending March 31, the government raised its defence budget by 7.8 percent to 830 billion rupees (19 billion dollars).
The military budget accounts for 14 percent of the total budget and 2.96 percent of gross domestic product and Mukherjee said Tuesday it would remain below three percent.
War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!
The world could eradicate poverty in a few generations were only a fraction of the expenditure on the war business to be spent on peace. An average of $22bn is spent on arms by countries in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa every year, according to estimates for the US Congress. This sum would have enabled those countries to put every child in school and to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015, fulfilling two of the Millennium Development Goals.
This year, the world has the chance to finally say no to the continuing scandal of the unregulated weapons trade. In October, governments will vote on a resolution at the UN General Assembly to start working towards an Arms Trade Treaty. That Treaty would be based on a simple principle: no weapons for violations of international law. In other words, a ban on selling weapons if there is a clear risk they will be used to abuse human rights or fuel conflict. The UN resolution has been put forward by the governments of Australia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Finland, Japan, Kenya, and the UK. These governments believe the idea of an Arms Trade Treaty is one whose time has come.
I agree. We must end impunity for governments who authorise the supply of weapons when they know there's a great danger those weapons will be used for gross human rights abuses. Great strides are being made towards ending impunity for war criminals. It cannot be acceptable that their arms suppliers continue to escape punishment. No longer should the peace business be undermined by the arms business. I call on all governments to put the control of the international arms trade at the top of their agenda.
© 2006 Independent News and Media Limited
WAR! (lyric by Edwin Starr) WAR! What's it good for? Absolutely nothin! WAR! War...huh...yeah
What is it good for?
Uh ha haa ha
What is it good for?
Absolutley nothing...say it again y'all
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing...listen to me ohhhhh
WAR! I despise,
'cos it means destruction of innocent lives,
War means tears to thousands of mother's eyes,
When their sons gone to fight and lose their lives.
I said WAR!...huh...good God y'all,
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing...say it again
War! Huh...What is it good for (Edwin sings 'Wohh oh Lord' over the top)
Absolutely nothing...listen to me
WAR! It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker,
War. Friend only to the undertaker.
Ohhh! War is an enemy to all mankind,
The thought of war blows my mind.
War has caused unrest within the younger generation
Induction then destruction...who wants to die? Ohhh
WAR! good God y'all huh
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing...say it say it SAY IT!
WAR!...uh huh yeah hu!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing...listen to me
WAR! It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker,
War! It's got one friend that's the undertaker.
Ohhhh! War has shattered many a young man's dream,
Made him disabled, bitter and mean,
Life is much too short and precious to spend fighting wars these days.
War can't give life, it can only take it away!
Ohhh WAR! huh...good God y'all
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing...say it again
War!...huh...woh oh oh Lord
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing...listen to me
War! It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker,
War. Friend only to the undertaker...woo
Peace lovin' understand then tell me,
Is there no place for them today?
They say we must fight to keep our freedom,
But Lord knows there's got to be a better way.
Ohhhhhhh WAR! huh...good God y'all...
What is it good for?...you tell me!
Say it say it say it saaaay it!
War! good God now...huh
What is it good for?
Stand up and shout it...NOTHING
The Modern Successor to the Slave Trade
No longer should the peace business be undermined by the arms business
by Desmond Tutu
For many years, I've been involved in the peace business, doing what I can to help people overcome their differences. In doing so, I've also learnt a lot about the business of war: the arms trade. In my opinion it is the modern slave trade. It is an industry out of control: every day more than 1,000 people are killed by conventional weapons. The vast majority of those people are innocent men, women and children.
There have been international treaties to control the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons for decades. Yet, despite the mounting death toll, there is still no treaty governing sales of all conventional weapons from handguns to attack helicopters. As a result, weapons fall into the wrong hands all too easily, fuelling human rights abuses, prolonging wars and digging countries deeper into poverty.
This is allowed to continue because of the complicity of governments, especially rich countries' governments, which turn a blind eye to the appalling human suffering associated with the proliferation of weapons.
Every year, small arms alone kill more people than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together. Many more people are injured, terrorised or driven from their homes by armed violence. Even as you read this, one of these human tragedies is unfolding somewhere on the planet.
Take the Democratic Republic of Congo, where armed violence recently flared up again, and millions have died during almost a decade of conflict. Despite a UN arms embargo against armed groups in the country, weapons have continued to flood in from all over the world.
Arms found during weapons collections include those made in Germany, France, Israel, USA and Russia. The only common denominator is that nearly all these weapons were manufactured outside Africa. Five rich countries manufacture the vast majority of the world's weapons. In 2005, Russia, the United States, France, Germany and the UK accounted for an estimated 82 per cent of the global arms market. And it's big business: the amount rich countries spend on fighting HIV/Aids every year represents just 18 days' global spending on arms.
But while the profits flow back to the developed world, the effects of the arms trade are predominantly felt in developing countries. More than two-thirds of the value of all arms are sold to Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
In addition to the deaths, injuries and rapes perpetrated with these weapons, the cost of conflict goes deeper still, destroying health and education systems.
For example, in northern Uganda, which has been devastated by 20 years of armed conflict, it has been estimated that 250,000 children do not attend school. The war in northern Uganda, which may be finally coming to an end, has been fuelled by supplies of foreign-made weapons. And, as with so many wars, the heaviest toll has been on the region's children. Children under five are always the most vulnerable to disease, and in a war zone adequate medical care is often not available.
The world could eradicate poverty in a