RealNews

War on terror fuels small arms trade

Charities say 500,000 people are killed each year by the real weapons of mass destruction. The “war on terror” has weakened national arms controls and fuelled the proliferation of conventional weapons, a coalition of leading human rights charities warned yesterday. Launching a global campaign to regulate the arms trade, Amnesty International, Oxfam, and the International Network on Small Arms said that on average 500,000 people were killed each year by armed violence – roughly one victim a minute. Existing arms control laws, including those in Britain, are riddled with loopholes, the agencies claim, and what is needed is a common approach similar to the initiative that produced the 1997 Ottawa treaty banning landmines. The charities’ proposed international arms trade treaty would outlaw weapons sales involving exportation for use entailing “violations of international human rights or humanitarian law”. The plan will be presented to a United Nations conference on small arms in 2006. Full Story

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