Arms Trade Treaty
(July 2012)
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Introduction to Arms Trade Treaty Packet

Marie Dennis
Co-President of Pax Christi International

Pax Christi International has prepared this resource packet on the Arms Trade Treaty to encourage the active participation of Member Organizations in efforts to ensure that a strong and effective Arm Trade Treaty will be negotiated in July 2012 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The presence of our global movement in local communities flooded with small arms has kept this critical issue high on Pax Christi International’s agenda. From South Sudan to El Salvador, Haiti to Iraq, Mexico to Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States of America, our members have seen the destructive impact of small arms in many different situations. Whether these weapons circulate during or in the wake of war and violent conflict; they are collected and used by violent gangs and organized crime; or their proliferation is driven primarily by lucrative profits, the cost in human life and misery is unconscionable. The specific impact on women and children is especially egregious, as is the diversion of resources needed to protect human life and the natural world.

Our faith tells us that every human life is sacred. Pax Christi International is committed to countering violence that destroys life and human dignity. We believe that a strong Arms Trade Treaty based on human rights and International Humanitarian Law will save lives and reduce human suffering.

May the deep commitment of so many civil society organizations and communities of faith, including Pax Christi, contribute in an effective way to ending the destructive proliferation and use of what are in too many places “weapons of mass destruction.”