MP joins demo on calling for Arms Trade Treaty
June 19, 2012
Julian Huppert MP joined the Amnesty International Cambridge City group on Saturday 16th June to show support for an effective Arms Trade Treaty. Cambridge World Development Movement, Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Cambridge Oxfam, Adala UK, Human Rights for Western Sahara, Pax Christi, MenelikPartnership and Cambridge Stop the War Coalition also joined the campaign action.
Julian Huppert said that every day at least 1,500 people die from armed violence and conflict. He spoke out against the irresponsible transfer of arms, which allows arms to fall in the hands of those who commit atrocities. He also emphasized that an Arms Trade Treaty should cover ammunition, as it is not just the arms but often the bullets that kill innocent people.
Theodore Menelik-Mfuni from MenelikPartnership told of his personal experiences of the irresponsible arms trade, which includes the rehabilitation of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was also held at gunpoint in Ivory Coast and the parents of his friend were brutally murdered in Sierra Leone. He said: “Without the arms my friend’s parents would still be alive.”
Liesbeth ten Ham, chair of the Amnesty International recalled how the Cambridge City group has contributed to the various stages of the campaign. It contributed over one hundred “faces” to the Million Faces petition which was handed in to the UN in 2006. This truly international petition led to 153 countries agreeing to start the process for an Arms Trade Treaty. She called upon the UK government to aim for the highest possible standard in the negotiations which are due to start early July.
The Cambridge City Group will send the campaign action photograph, with a letter and the over one hundred signatories that it collected, to David Cameron asking him to strive for a robust Arms Trade Treaty.