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Posted 09:58 (GMT) July 5, 2012

Amazing new version of 'Take Good Care' song released today!

Picture: 
Dave Stewart and Joss Stone (Photograph: Ian Skalski)

Singer-songwriter and actor Joss Stone, war photographer Paul Conroy and musician and producer Dave Stewart are calling on world leaders gathering at the United Nations to deliver an effective Arms Trade Treaty as they launch a new version of the song ‘Take Good Care’.

‘Take Good Care’ was co-written by Paul Conroy – who was seriously injured earlier this year in Homs, Syria – and Joss Stone, and produced by Dave Stewart. The song is being released today in support of Amnesty International’s call upon world leaders to deliver an effective and robust international Arms Trade Treaty. Proceeds from the song will support Amnesty's vital ongoing human rights work.

The images featured in this video for ‘Take Good Care’ were shot by Paul Conroy during the conflict in Misrata, Libya.  He said:

"Having covered armed conflicts up close I have seen the sickening human toll of a world awash in weapons and military hardware that are too easily obtained. The brutality is the same no matter where it occurs. The only sane response is to control this unregulated flow of weapons once and for all by adopting an effective global Arms Trade Treaty now."

Currently there are no legally-binding global regulations controlling the international arms trade. The current patchwork system of ineffective controls creates large loopholes and makes embargoes impossible to enforce. The consequences of this are dire: irresponsible transfer of weapons and ammunition continue to flood into places where they are used to commit serious human rights violations.

Joss Stone said:

“The Arms Trade Treaty could be one of the most important laws ever to be secured.  A successful Treaty could quite literally save lives, stop bloody conflicts and prevent millions of women, men and children from being terrorised from their homes. We’ve seen how weapons in the wrong hands can have utterly devastating consequences. Not just for the victims themselves, but also for their community.  That’s why I fully support Amnesty International’s call upon world leaders to deliver a robust and effective Arms Trade Treaty, with human rights at its core.”

Dave Stewart said:

“When you think about the fact that every year two bullets for every person on the planet are produced, it is quite clear that the arms trade is out of control.  There has never been a greater need to tighten regulations on the arms trade than now.  Millions of people are dying unnecessarily because weapons are ending up in regions where they are being used to fuel conflict and commit the worst kind of atrocities.  These deaths can be prevented if we have a strong human-rights-centred Arms Trade Treaty.”

However, Amnesty International warns that the Treaty will only be effective if it is based on binding human rights protections that ensure that all states must prevent transfers of conventional arms where there is a substantial risk that those arms will be used to commit serious human rights violations. These essential human rights safeguards are likely to come under serious threat during negotiations, as a small number of sceptical states will seek to weaken or remove them altogether.

Details of this historic Treaty are currently being discussed at the United Nations in New York this July.  Talks began on Monday 2 July and are due to last until 27 July.  Delegates from all UN member states are attending the month-long talks where they will agree upon a Treaty by which they want the trade in weapons to be governed.  Keep up to date with negotiations here.

You can support the campaign by buying the song on iTunes.

Here's our exclusive interview with Dave Stewart regarding the song:

When did you first become aware of human rights abuses?
I think you vaguely become aware of them as a child - bullying, in a way, is not too dissimilar. When I moved to London at 17 I arrived at the perfect time for a teenager to get their mind blown – 1969. I started going to concerts, and there was a massive explosion of magazines such as IT and Oz. For the first time you read what was going on from a different perspective, and I started to get aware of the massive injustices going on around the world.

How did you get involved with Amnesty?
During the 1980s, the Eurythmics were travelling around the world and we met lots of different people and were exposed to different views. We started to look at Amnesty and Greenpeace and then later on, in 1999, of course we did a huge tour [the proceeds of which went to Amnesty and Greenpeace]. At every gig we had huge things for people to sign-up to the organisations, and backstage we would meet the local Amnesty people. We became hands on at this point – our children even sat in Amnesty and Greenpeace offices in different countries while we were rehearsing.

Why is the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) so important to you?
Whether its drug gangs in Mexico, the things we saw rising up in [the former Yugoslavia] a while ago or what’s happening in the Congo, someone, somewhere along the line is making these weapons and shipping them off to areas that are in complete disarray. I think it’s just pretty obvious that that’s not a very good idea.

How did Take Good Care come about?
One day I phoned Joss and asked her to come and record in Nashville. She was with Paul at the time and asked him about the song he had been singing. He sang it to her and told her the story about a war photographer he knew who got shot in the head, and Joss started crying. She took a recording of it, and when we were in Nashville, I said: ‘We’ve got to record this’. Amnesty then suggested it would be a good thing to use in the ATT campaign.
 
What has been the most memorable moment of your life?
There’ve been a few. One was spending time with Nelson Mandela. We were talking and he was being very humorous one minute and then just saying something, in a very easy way, that just made you think about it for six months or so. He took me to see the cell he had been in on Robben Island. That was an amazing, unforgettable moment. And there were musical things too – playing live with Stevie Wonder, Mick [Jagger] and obviously Annie [Lennox].

What inspires you?
I think I have a good illness: I wake up in the morning, open my eyes and I’m like ‘I’m alive!’. It’s like a jolt of electricity. I have this child-like quality to look at the world everyday like it’s unbelievable.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve got a musical on Broadway, Ghost, and a TV series, Malibu Country, I’ve created for ABC in America. I’m writing a kind of autobiography called The Ringmaster, and have an album coming out, The Ringmaster General.

  
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