Conventional weapons killed 51% of civilians in 12 armed conflicts from 2015 to 2020, with 27% killed by small arms and light weapons. Every day, a thousand people die because of firearms. Illicit transfer and diversion of these weapons leads to gross violations of human rights, increased rates of killing and maiming of civilians as well as increased rates of sexual violence against women and girls.
We have no choice but to keep weapons safe. Therefore, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights launched a campaign in cooperation with the Global Coalition for Limitation of Armaments (GCLA), with the aim of restricting the use of such weapons to legal operations such as maintaining security and combating terrorism. If we managed to achieve this objective, we will protect more civilians, prevent bloodshed, and reduce the number of widowed wives. Besides, reconstruction costs will be cut down, and we will push towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and helping affected countries during post-conflict phases.
Join the Petition to help us combat terrorist groups’ insurgencies, as terrorists have used illegally transported weapons in 85 terrorist operations around the world in the last decade, while these groups used light and small arms in more than 300 terrorist attacks on the African continent during Q1 of 2022, mainly in West Africa. These weapons have not only renewed conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, but also increased crime rates and cross-border crimes, stimulated terrorism, and obstructed development efforts in these countries, thus impeding the enjoyment of all basic human rights, including the right to development.
Illegally transported conventional arms shell infrastructure that is not used for military purposes such as hospitals, schools and other civilian facilities. The call to ratify the ATT, which 54 states have not joined, along with an agreement to prohibit or restrict the use of certain traditional weapons is a major goal that this Petition calls for.
There are treaties, protocols, and decisions that prevent arms diversion and stop the illicit flow thereof; however, implementation of the provisions requires political will to restrict arms transfers, including a commitment to pre-transfer risk assessment and post-shipment controls, including the inspection process, on-site and end-user verification. On July 20, 2023, Secretary-General António Guterres, announced a new global plan for peace in the world. Fortunately, reducing illegal transfer of arms and disarmament is at the heart of this plan, but the effective implementation thereof by Member States remains the most important factor.
On behalf of some of the families of the victims who were killed because of these weapons, joining this Petition may be the first glimmer of hope in order to keep the weapons safe.
By signing the Petition we will be able to:
- • Continuing to mobilize efforts, advocacy and try to gain support to reduce arms smuggling and illicit transfer;
- • Letting our voices be heard in international disarmament mechanisms, urging member states to stop arms diversion to non-state actors including terrorist groups;
- • You will be part of the Keep Weapons Safe campaign, which attempts to restrict the use of such weapons to legal operations such as maintaining security and combating terrorism.