Arms Trade Treaty: I Can’t Help Feeling a Little Giddy!

ATT will be reality


the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today the UN General Assembly passed a resolution opening the final draft of the Arms Trade Treaty for signature. The vote was a landslide: 154 in favor, 3 against, 23 abstentions. A massive congratulations is in order for the civil society and faith organizations behind the Control Arms coalition that has campaigned so hard for this result. Kudos too to the many small and middle powers which ushered this to the General Assembly — as well as to the United States for doing the right thing in the end.

I have to admit I have felt rather cynical about the prospects and possibilities of the ATT for several years. And I felt deeply disappointed with the political power play of my country of citizenship at the collapse of the negotiations last summer. Back then, I had to console myself that global civil society had won the “discursive victory.”

But today we acheived an actual treaty and it is a great day for human rights and human security. I know, and have pointed out, the many flaws in the text. But today, I am content that we have established crucial norms against profiting from the sale of killing machines to those who abuse human rights and humanitarian law.

Let us celebrate!


~ by Matthew Bolton on 2 April 2013.

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