Closed: Put human rights at the heart of the Arms Trade Treaty
This action is now closed. In the space of just two days an amazing 12,000 of you wrote to the UK government calling on it to do us proud at talks to agree the first ever treaty to control the $60bn arms trade. Together we urged the team at the negotiations to put human rights at the heart of the treaty. And they did. But in the end it wasn't enough. Led by the US, a series of sceptical countries took the floor on Friday morning and said they needed more time. They stalled what was going to be one of the most significant human rights breakthroughs in history. But it is far from over.
Thanks in no small part to your hard work, and the commitment of the UK government to a robust treaty, we now have a reasonably strong text and a second chance. Members of the UN meet again in October where they will vote on the treaty. This time we won't need consensus, we just need a majority. It won't be easy - there is a lot to do to keep up the pressure between now and then - but we are optimistic that we can still get the Arms Trade Treaty we have all worked so hard for. Read our full statement
Two decades of campaigning. 193 states. Hours left to change the world.
Update 27 July (24 hours left): Great news! We have a draft Treaty text that answers many of our concerns about the previous one. The UK government has been listening to you and have been key to securing many of the changes. Well done them. Tell the UK government to stay strong
Bad news: it still doesn’t cover gifts and military aid, and India is pushing for a rule that allows for existing contracts to be fulfilled even where arms are being used to commit human rights abuses. The sceptical states also have all day to negotiate us out of a Treaty that saves lives by pushing to weaken the human rights rules.
After decades of work it all comes down to these final hours. Urge the UK government to do everything it can to maintain the best of what’s there, and strengthen the remit of the Treaty to include all international arms transfers.
Update 25 July (2 days left): We’ve seen a draft of the final Arms Trade Treaty. The good news is that it is stronger on human rights rules. The bad news is that these rules do not extend to include ammunition and the Treaty contains enough gaping loopholes as to make the entire thing completely worthless.
With two days to go, there’s all to fight for. It’s not over until it’s over.
Tell the UK government to do us proud
As negotiations for the first ever Arms Trade Treaty draw to a close it has never been more important for the UK to demand human rights are enshrined at its heart.
Failure to do so could result in many more millions of civilians killed, injured, raped and forced to flee their homes. It would allow weapons to continue to flood into Syria despite the fact those weapons are being used to commit human rights abuses. It’s all or nothing. Get more information
As one of the most influential supporters of human rights in the Treaty, the UK must make its voice heard on the negotiating floor.
Minister Alistair Burt has made strong statements committing to a bulletproof Treaty but a small, vocal and determined minority of countries are putting the UK under pressure to compromise. If they get their way, the Arms Trade Treaty would be meaningless. Tell the government it's time to deliver