The United Nations witnessed a historic moment Monday with the signing of the Arms Trade Treaty, first adopted in April by the General Assembly, and the first time the 85-billion-dollar international arms trade has been regulated by a global set of standards.
Eighteen Nobel Peace Prize recipients called Thursday for President Barack Obama to take a leadership role in supporting a “historic” internationally binding agreement that would regulate the global arms trade, including instituting a strict ban on arms sales to states involved in egregious human rights abuses.
The 1992 Carandirú massacre of 111 inmates shot down in what was Brazil’s largest prison was documented in thousands of print and televised news reports, as well as five books and a popular film.
When a 20-year-old went on a deadly shooting spree killing 26 students and teachers in an elementary school in Connecticut last December, there was the inevitable outcry either for a ban or a tight control on gun shows, where firearms can be purchased over the counter with no background checks on the buyer.
With a new round of negotiations for an international treaty regulating the international trade of small-scale weapons slated for next month, advocates here have stepped up a campaign to clarify what exactly the treaty is trying to accomplish – and to eliminate some opposition to the treaty from within the U.S. Congress that, they say, is based on misinformation.
"We will not stop fighting until there is justice for our children," says Araceli Rodríguez, the mother of a young federal police agent in Mexico who disappeared along with seven other people in the western state of Michoacán on Nov. 16, 2009.
A lot of attention goes to the U.S.-made weapons in the hands of criminal groups in this Latin American country. But there is little talk of another problem: the large number of light weapons in the hands of civilians.
Amidst a politically divisive debate on gun control in the United States following a rash of mass shootings, the United Nations will meet in March to finalise an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) after nearly two decades of negotiations.
In Papua New Guinea, the largest island nation in Melanesia in the southwest Pacific, where more than 60 percent of major crimes involve guns, a burgeoning illegal arms trade is associated with lack of employment growth and low human security, with vulnerable communities suffering the consequences.