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Saturday, 05 March 2011 16:17

Australia’s chance to stop arms sales to Libya and other dictatorships

 

Alistair Gee, Executive Director of Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, said, “The fact that many of the weapons used against peacefully demonstrating civilians in Libya have been purchased from countries like the UK indicates just why we need an Arms Trade Treaty.

 

“Without an international treaty, there’s little to stop countries cashing in on the very lucrative global arms sale industry and in the process, aiding the actions of violent dictators such as Gaddafi.

 

“Australia has already played a significant role in the development of a potential Arms Trade Treaty. With CHOGM taking place on our own soil in 2011, we now have the opportunity to take a lead on the issue.”

 

As the second preparatory meeting for an Arms Trade Treaty concludes today in New York, Act for Peace is concerned that the Treaty is being watered down from what was originally envisaged.

 

Act for Peace works with partners in many conflict-affected countries on disarmament issues. Act for Peace has launched an appeal in support of people fleeing the violence in Libya, many of them migrant workers from Egypt, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea and other countries who fear for their lives if they remain.

 

Since 20 February, more than 140,000 people have fled Libya for Tunisia, Egypt and Niger, and thousands are stranded on the Libyan side of the border trying to cross into Tunisia. There are real fears that this humanitarian crisis will worsen.

 To give to Act for Peace’s Libya Conflict Emergency Appeal, visit http://www.actforpeace.org.au or free call 1800 025 101.

 

For interviews, please contact Emma Halgren, Media & Online Coordinator: 0458 303 515, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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