Arms trade treaty remains imperative

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28-03-2013 News Release

Geneva / New York (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) deeply regrets that States were unable to adopt an Arms Trade Treaty at the diplomatic conference that ended today in New York.

"As long as arms are easily available, people will continue to suffer the consequences, in terms of death, injury, destruction and displacement," said Kathleen Lawand, head of the ICRC's arms unit. "Legally binding norms are urgently needed to regulate transfers of conventional weapons and ammunition, and to make sure that arms don't end up in the hands of those who are likely to commit war crimes or serious violations of human rights law."

At the end of a nine-day conference in New York, States failed to reach an agreement on an Arms Trade Treaty. The ICRC has been calling for the adoption of a strong and effective treaty that prohibits international arms transfers when there is a clear risk of war crimes being committed with the weapons concerned.

"The adoption of an effective Arms Trade Treaty remains a humanitarian imperative," insisted Ms Lawand. "The ICRC is committed to continuing to work with all States, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the United Nations and other organizations to ensure that a treaty is adopted in the near future."

For further information, please contact: Claire Kaplun, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 33 55 or +41 79 244 64 63.