Need to Get Through Senate First
Secretary of State John Kerry announced this week that the Obama Administration intends to sign the U.N Arms Trade Treaty. Although this is a great step forward for the United States, it’s only half the story, as the treaty would have the be ratified by the Senate. This is the tough part, and this is where we come in to ensure the U.S participates in this treaty and does it’s part in preventing weapons from getting into the hands of human rights abusers.
Make a Difference with Amnesty International’s Upcoming Lobby Week
Our Senators will likely be in their district offices during the October 14-18 Congressional Recess. This week in October is Amnesty International’s biannual Lobby Week, and is a great time to encourage our Senators to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty. Participating in Lobby Week is a great opportunity to connect with your Members of Congress and to build your group’s capacity to advance human rights advocacy, such as regulating the arms trade and preventing weapons from getting into the hands of human rights abusers.
Although October 14-18 are the primary dates for our action, it’s encouraged that we schedule a meeting with the district office staff at any time during the month. Our chapter currently doesn’t have a date for lobbying, but if you sign up here or send us an email at amnestystl (at) gmail (dot) com, we can get a group together to urge Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill to support ratification.
Did You Know
In case you need a little extra convincing about the human rights perspective associated with the Arms Trade treaty, below are a few facts about the treaty and how the U.S contributes to the problem that the treaty is trying to solve.
- At least 500,000 people die every year on average and millions more are displaced and abused as result of armed violence and conflict
- The U.S is by far the world’s largest arms trader, accounting for around 30 per cent of conventional arms transfers in terms of value
- The U.S supplies arms to more than 170 countries and has a mixed record of suspending arms supplies on human rights grounds
- 86 countries have signed the ATT to date
- Many – including key arms-producing countries in the European Union – are in the process of ratifying the ATT.
- Shortly after 50 countries have ratified the treaty, it will enter into force