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Physicians Support Historic New Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) To Regulate Global Weapons Trade

March 29, 2013

(United Nations, NY)--Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), U.S. affiliate of the Nobel peace prize winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), applauds the UN General Assembly's adoption of the world's first Arms Trade Treaty that has come after years of work and negotiations. We urge the United States to work deliberatively to sign and ratify the treaty.

“As a physician, this treaty is about saving lives and protecting innocents who are harmed daily by an unregulated global arms trade,” said Dr. Catherine Thomasson, executive director of PSR. “1,500 people are killed every day by conflict and armed violence. The ATT is an excellent first step, long overdue, that will begin to ensure that countries are held accountable for their arms transfers and ammunition exports.”

“This treaty impacts warlords and terrorist organizations, not U.S. gun owners,” said Dr. Cathey Falvo, a representative of PSR at the Arms Trade Treaty talks. “The text explicitly states that the treaty does not infringe on the domestic laws of a country.  Unless the National Rifle Association thinks the 2nd Amendment protects countries like Syria, this final treaty text should earn their support and a quick vote in the Senate.”

Over 2,000 PSR members in the U.S. called on President Barack Obama to support a robust ATT that protects human rights and implements the type of regulations that allow for transparency of one of the most secretive and dangerous transfers in the world. IPPNW joined with 17 other Nobel Peace Prize Nobel Laureates in asking for their leadership in negotiating an effective treaty.

“After 15 long years and millions killed, maimed or traumatized by gun violence, we are finally gratified that most of the world’s countries have finally supported a humanitarian-based Arms Trade Treaty,” said Dr. Robert Mtonga, IPPNW co-president and head of the IPPNW delegation. “It is not perfect, but taken as a whole, it is groundbreaking in scope, and we are hopeful the world’s countries will enact it in the most comprehensive way.”

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