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Photo exhibition promotes Arms Trade Treaty at the UN

Campaigners from Amnesty International and other Control Arms Campaign partners are in New York this month, attending the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, campaigning for the start of negotiations for an effective International Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). A photo exhibition compiled and staged by the Control Arms Campaign, is mounted just outside the conference chamber where government delegates are debating the ATT document. The exhibition shows visually the six legal components that the Control Arms Campaign is urging states to incorporate into an effective Arms Trade Treaty. Sixteen of the images featured in the exhibition can be seen in the gallery in this story. Every day, thousands of people are killed, injured, raped, and forced to flee from their homes as a result of irresponsible and poorly regulated international arms transfers. These problems are compounded by the increasing globalization of the arms trade –components being sourced from across the world, and production and assembly in different countries, sometimes with lax controls. National and regional state regulation of the arms trade has failed to adapt to these changes.   Some of the pictures aim to show the ease with which weapons are transferred around the world, and therefore why there is a need for a comprehensive ATT. Others show the impact that an effective ATT could have on people's lives: helping to prevent serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and protecting populations against pervasive armed violence, armed crime and acts of terrorism which shatter lives, deepen poverty and prevent socio-economic development. To achieve this goal, an ATT must establish binding criteria for assessing international arms transfers on a case-by-case basis, and clearly determine when an international arms transfer should be stopped. The Global Principles illustrated here are based on existing international law. They lay out international civil society's vision of the underlying principles of an effective, global Arms Trade Treaty.