Churches hope Arms Trade Treaty process will continue with renewed commitment
Rev. Dr Silvester Arinaitwe Rwomukubwe, delegate at the Arms Trade Treat conference and executive secretary for Uganda Joint Christian Council in New York. © Andrew Kelly
28 July 2012
Following delay in the proposed adoption of a global Arms Trade Treaty after four weeks of negotiations at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York, the World Council of Churches (WCC) expressed concern for “people and communities waiting for protection from the unregulated arms trade.”
Having started on 2 July, the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty concluded yesterday. The negotiations on an arms trade treaty have been called off after governments were not able to reach agreement on international regulation of arms exports.
“Churches are concerned with the postponement in this long process, but we will plead for stronger controls of conventional weapons for a more peaceful and just world. Recent conflicts in several countries show the need for that,” said the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
“For decades, churches around the world have been calling for an Arms Trade Treaty that would protect people from irresponsible arms transfers. We will not let go of this demand,” read statement from the WCC general secretary.
These views were also shared by the ecumenical delegation at the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York. The delegates represented some 70 member churches and related organizations in 35 countries who are involved in the WCC campaign for a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty for the past several years.
The delegation to the UN conference was led by the WCC Central Committee moderator, Rev. Dr Walter Altmann. During the conference, the delegation issued an appeal to the 194 countries involved in negotiating the global arms trade treaty to “keep ammunition in the treaty” in addition to the control of weapons.
The delegates stated that churches will be following these processes carefully, and will work with their partner organizations to hold governments to account, as the treaty and its implementation is essential to save lives.
Religious leaders say Arms Trade Treaty must regulate ammunition (WCC press release of 20 July 2012)
High resolution photos available via photos.oikoumene.org
Media contact: Daniel A. Pieper: Daniel.Pieper [at] wcc-coe.org, +1 212 867 5890