CONTROL ARMS ALLIANCE
Control Arms is a global civil society alliance campaigning for a “bulletproof” Arms Trade Treaty that will protect lives and livelihoods. A “bulletproof” Arms Trade Treaty means an international legally-binding agreement that will stop transfers of arms and ammunitions that fuel conflict, poverty and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
The idea of an arms trade treaty first came from Nobel Peace Laureates, supported by civil society organizations worldwide.
In 2003, the Control Arms Campaign was launched and has since gathered support for the Arms Trade Treaty from over a million people worldwide.
In 2006, Control Arms handed over a global petition called “Million Faces” to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan 2006.
In December 2006, 153 governments finally voted at the United Nations to start work on developing a global Arms Trade Treaty. Momentum for the treaty has been building ever since.
In 2009 the UN General Assembly launched a time frame for the negotiation of the Arms Trade Treaty. This included one preparatory meeting in 2010 and two in 2011, before the final negotiating conference scheduled for July 2012.
Control Arms started the Parliamentarian Declaration campaign to collect signatures of support from members of parliaments across the globe. To date, 1098 members of parliaments from 50 countries worldwide have signed the Global Parliamentarian Declaration. Civil – Center for Freedom has launched the Parliamentarian Declaration campaign in 2008 and collected 0 [zero] signatures. This year, our team was more decisive and has put a lot of efforts to explain the importance of the Arms Trade Treaty to both general public and the members of the Macedonian parliament, and that MPs role is very important in the whole process. Our approach was combined and included daily communication with MPs and political representatives, the Chairman of the Parliament Mr. Veljanovski, a press conference [March 28] and numerous briefings, as well as posting news on Civil’s website, social media, and the newly registered blogwww.arms-control.blogspot.com.
According to the criteria and the format of the Campaign, each bearer of the people’s trust could express his/her support by individual signature on the Declaration, which Civil translated in Macedonian and Albanian language, provided a copy of the Declaration for each Member of the Parliament on March 27, and was available to give additional information to parliamentarians and journalists, as well as to provide more copies of the Declaration when required in the days and weeks that followed.
The outcome of these efforts of our team is signatures of 82 [eighty-two] members of the Macedonian Parliament, a great achievement that has been acknowledged also by the Control Arms Secretariat.
Civil accelerates its activities in the frame of the Speak Out campaign as you read this article. For more information about the actions and campaigns please visit www.controlarmts.org.
COMING EVENTS AND CAMPAIGNS
Civil is a longstanding member organization of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). As a member of IANSA and as an organization committed to arms control issues in the country and the region, Civil contributed to a number of awareness-raising events including the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence since 2002. This year, the Global Week of Action is 11-17 June.
International Gun Destruction Day is on July 9, a day which the Macedonian government is marking since 2004 by destruction of weapons seized in police actions or in the actions for voluntary surrender of illegal weapons. Please, visit www.iansa.org for more information.
Civil committed its resources to contribution in these actions and lobbied with the government for stricter arms control measures and for actions on voluntary surrender of illegal weapons.
Another relevant resource is www.gunpolicy.org.
Citizens are a valuable source of information and a starting point towards building guns-free society. Please, contact Civil to share your thoughts, stories and information on arms control issues, including gun culture.