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NAACP Supports the Global Arms Trade Treaty

WHEREAS, the global trade in weapons is currently not only huge but also very poorly regulated; and

WHEREAS, illicitly (although not necessarily illegally) traded weapons and ammunition currently promote conflict, violence, bloodshed and heartbreak which in turn costs countries an estimated $18 billion a year in lost development opportunities. This money could be spent on projects such as education, health care, roads and clean water; and

WHEREAS, internationally, manufacturers produce about 8 million new small arms and light armaments every year and 12 billion more units of ammunition (almost two for every person on the planet); and

WHEREAS, by the end of 2010, more than 27 million people worldwide had been displaced by armed conflict, violence and human rights violations; and

WHEREAS, although the United States currently has some of the most stringent standards for the international transfer of weapons, weak laws in many other countries allow unscrupulous arms brokers to traffic weapons across borders, making it easy for war lords, human rights abusers, and criminals to buy and use guns and ammunition; and

WHEREAS, there are currently more international laws governing the trade of bananas than the trade of AK-47s; and

WHEREAS, on April 2, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly voted by a margin of 153 to 3 in support of a global arms treaty to help keep arms out of the hands of known war criminals as well as those fueling conflict and poverty; and

WHEREAS, the Global Arms Trade Treaty establishes a new global standard that puts countries on notice that it is no longer acceptable to supply weapons to known criminals with no sense of accountability for the evil ways in which these arms will be used; and

WHEREAS, the treaty is a legally binding agreement between nations to prevent the irresponsible sale of weapons across borders and would restrict the transfer of weapons when there is a risk that the arms could undermine peace and stability to be used to commit violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws, or slow development; it establishes international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons and ammunition; and it promotes transparency and accountability in the international arms market.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports the Global Arms Trade Treaty and calls for the United States Senate to ratify the Treaty.