The following letter to the editor was published in the Guardian on Tuesday 14 February 2012.

Arms trade fuels violence in Syria

The daily atrocities unfolding across Syria show the urgent need to control irresponsible and unregulated arms transfers. Away from our TV screens the death toll rises in places such as Democratic Republic of Congo and many other conflicts that are fuelled by an arms trade that has few, if any, meaningful checks. Crucial talks resume this week among key governments at the UN to agree an historic new global arms trade treaty. It’s vital that the UK government does not allow a treaty that only pays lip service to human rights.

It’s absurd that we have global treaties on the trade of postage stamps and dinosaur bone, but the deadly trade in conventional weapons and ammunition remains poorly regulated. In a world where twice as many bullets are manufactured each year than there are people on the planet, the need for a robust and effective arms trade treaty is now more crucial than ever.

Kate Allen Amnesty International, Henry Smith Saferworld, Thomas Nash Article 36, Barbara Stocking Oxfam

Posted in: Armed violence, Arms Trade Treaty, Conference statements, Press releases, Small arms,