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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

Christian Leaders Urge Control Over Arms and Ammunitions in UN Treaty

  • (Photo: The Christian Post/Stoyan Zaimov)
    Raymond C. Offenheiser (left), Suzanne Nossel (center) and Bishop Elias Taban discuss the new Arms Trade Treaty at a press briefing at the United Nations on July 3, 2012.
July 20, 2012|3:20 pm

A number of Christian organizations have come out with a joint statement addressing the current United Nations Arms Trade Treaty negotiations taking place, warning that time is running out and that strict new measures need to be imposed to combat the global problem.

"With thousands of people around the world killed or injured in armed violence each day, the governments' work will be judged by how many lives the treaty helps save," began the joint statement signed by members of the World Evangelical Alliance, World Council of Churches, Pax Christi International and Caritas.

More than 2,000 representatives from member states around the world are currently debating the issue and trying to come to an agreement, which is set to put a ban on, or greatly restrict arms sales in cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, terrorist acts and grave human rights violations.

"Yet if a few major countries do not change their negotiating positions, the proposed treaty will not include the ammunition or arms most often used to commit such crimes," the statement continued, revealing that some countries – which have not been identified, are holding out on agreeing to regulate ammunitions along with weapons.

"Churches and their members witness the human costs of unlawful armed violence every day. The women, children and men who are brought to church hospitals and church graveyards in different parts of the world usually have one thing in common. They have been struck down by ammunition," the statement added.

The Christian leaders elaborate by explaining that there are some national laws that currently regulate ammunitions, but that the U.N. needs to come out with a strong international resolution on the issue.

"For people of goodwill and of faith, protecting human dignity and the sanctity of life are the real test of the Arms Trade Treaty. A strong and effective treaty can protect people from the insecurity, deprivation, fear and death caused by the unregulated and irresponsible trade in arms – but not if that treaty fails to regulate ammunition," the Christian leaders concluded.

While faith and political leaders around the world have called for a resolution that will help end some of the violence in war-torn regions around the world, the U.S Senate has made clear that if it deems any new rules incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, it will not abide by them.

"Should there be a treaty put to the Senate by the President (Obama)," explained Republican Sen. John Cornyn to KETK, "my expectation is that this would be thoroughly vetted and debated, and if any of these concerns are justified, I have a hard time believing it would be ratified."

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-leaders-urge-control-over-arms-and-ammunitions-in-un-treaty-78625/