A worldwide fellowship of 349 churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

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About the Ecumenical Campaign for a Strong and Effective Arms Trade Treaty

Months of fighting in Misrata, Libya, left an abundance of ordnance scattered all over the city. © ACT Alliance/Paul JeffreyMonths of fighting in Misrata, Libya, left an abundance of ordnance scattered all over the city. © ACT Alliance/Paul Jeffrey

At the grassroots and national levels, in their communities and countries, churches and specialized ministries are witnesses to the human impact of unlawful armed violence. We see the suffering and chaos of violence fuelled by the irresponsible trade in arms.

Members of the international ecumenical community are well-positioned to take action together. In many countries, civil society is mobilising to support a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Churches were among the first members of civil society to call for universal regulations on the trade of weapons. Therefore, churches working together can continue to do their part to strengthen the proposed treaty through the negotiation process. At a minimum, the ATT must protect communities and saves lives that are put at risk from the poorly regulated worldwide trade in arms and ammunition.

As a first step, our efforts will build towards July 2012, which is a crucial month for our work on the treaty. In July, the UN will hold the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations at the UN Headquarters in New York. This will not be an easy process for the Member State representatives present, but it is our mission is to ensure that ATT negotiations are not confined to discussion of the sale of a commodity. Rather states must acknowledge, and address, the human cost, community suffering and deaths caused by the irresponsible trade of weapons. While technical trade policy details can be made available to interested members of the Ecumenical ATT Campaign, our collective goal in this process is to build a popular mobilization campaign that encourages us to:

1) Educate ourselves on the need for an ATT

2) Mobilize others to act in support of a strong and effective ATT that contains faith values of justice, peace and human wellbeing

3) Lobby our elected officials and governmental representatives as to the human imperative for an ATT, and for governments to support, ratify and implement a strong and effective treaty

Use the resources in our Campaign Tool Kit to get started today, and join our campaign under the rally cry:

“Yes, I support a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that will protect and save lives!”