Letter to Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed by signed by Pierre Véronneau, Oxfam-Quebec; Rieky Stuart, Oxfam Canada; Ernie Regehr, Project Ploughshares; and Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada.
The Honourable Pierre Pettigrew
Minister of Foreign Affairs
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G2
July 6, 2005
RE: G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting
While disappointed at the failure of the G8 Foreign Ministers to take concrete steps, we are pleased that at their London meeting they agreed to work towards building a consensus for action to further control the proliferation of conventional arms, including the UK proposal for an Arms Trade Treaty. We encourage the Government of Canada to take an active role in this critical work.
The forthcoming Biennial Meeting of States on the small arms Programme of Action (July 11-16) offers an important opportunity to elaborate and build support for strict international standards to control small arms transfers in accordance with states’ obligations under international law. Similarly, the September Millennium Summit will be another occasion to advocate for an effective and legally-binding international agreement to control international transfers of conventional arms.
As civil society organizations concerned about the negative effects of the proliferation of conventional weapons to areas of conflict and political instability, as well as concerns regarding the arms trade’s extraordinary drain on resources in recipient countries, we commit to continued action in support of effective transfer controls and look forward to cooperating with your government in those efforts.
For your further information, please find a copy of the latest report from the Control Arms Campaign, “The G8: Global Arms Exporters.” In it you will find strong criticism of the manner in which the G8, Canada included, regulate the flow of arms from their countries. This report was released ahead of the G8 Summit in hopes of encouraging positive action at the G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in London on the proposal for an Arms Trade Treaty.
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Amnesty International Canada (English Branch)
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cc. Assistant Deputy Minister Jim Wright