Banff and Buchan MP calls for arms trade treaty

Banff and Buchan MP Doctor Eilidh Whiteford is supporting an international campaign calling for a robust and human rights-based arms trade treaty to be negotiated this July at the United Nations in
New York.

Doctor Whiteford took part in a photo action event in the House of Commons, which saw MPs having their photo taken whilst holding a sign stating their support for a bulletproof arms trade treaty. The Control Arms Coalition (including Amnesty International, Oxfam and Saferworld), which organised the event, has been calling on MPs to demonstrate their support and urging David Cameron to publicly commit to a bulletproof arms trade treaty.

Every day, 1,500 people die as a result of armed violence and conflict. The current poor regulations on arms trades allow these weapons to fall into the wrong hands, where they can be used to fuel conflict, poverty and human rights violations. Amnesty is calling for a treaty based on a simple principle: no transfers of weapons likely to be used for violations of international law.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: “This July, we have a once in a lifetime chance to create this historic treaty that could help save thousands of lives every year. Eight-five per cent of all killings documented by Amnesty involve the use of guns, and an effective treaty would reduce this figure significantly, by keeping arms out of hands that would use them to violate human rights.

We simply cannot let this opportunity pass us by. The support of MPs in pressuring Cameron for a public commitment to a bulletproof treaty is absolutely
essential.”

Eilidh Whiteford MP said: “There are so many issues in the world today, and it is appalling how many are facilitated or even caused by an unregulated arms trade – unlawful killings, poverty, sexual violence, - and the list goes on.

“This is an issue that we should all be concerned about, and I will be following up at the earliest opportunity.”