Another approach to opposing the arms trade is to focus on the financial and investment side. The web site www.noguns.co.uk gives you the information you need to bully your bank, pension fund manager or investment manager not to invest in the arms trade, and includes other background information and links. [Charles]
Zac Goldsmith meets Local Campaigners against the Arms Trade in Parliament
Local arms trade campaigners, representing a number of local groups including Amnesty, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the United Nations Association, Kingston Peace Council, and the Green Party, met with Zac Goldsmith MP at Portcullis House, Parliament on Monday [13 May 2013]. They urged the MP to call upon Vince Cable’s Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) department to do more to regulate the shady world of arms brokers.
Amnesty member and Richmond resident John Hatto said: “BIS issues licences to arms dealers to broker unlimited quantities of deadly weapons, including small arms, to some of the most repressive regimes in the world. We want Vince Cable’s department to clean up its act, create a public register of brokers and stop giving arms dealers free rein to broker as many weapons as they like.” John went on to say: “We were encouraged by Zac’s willingness to take up this issue directly with Ministers.”
Campaigners explained that the UK Government promotes weapons sales to some of the world’s most repressive regimes. The Government co-sponsors the world’s biggest arms fair, held biennially in the Docklands. To its shame BIS invites delegations from countries identified by the Foreign Office as having ‘the most serious human rights concerns.’ Zac reacted positively when asked to call upon the Government to be more open about its process for inviting delegates and to publish the criteria by which it selects them, as well as publishing a full delegate list in advance of the arms fair.
Over the last 10 years there has been a threefold increase in weapons sales to many developing countries in real terms. For example over one third of the world’s poorest people live India and Pakistan yet their Governments spend nearly 20% of their budgets on the military, but only 3-4% on health. Military spending dwarfs aid budgets. The group explained: “BIS does not even follow its own criteria for promoting weapons to developing countries. Both David Cameron and Vince Cable have been on weapons promotion tours of developing countries.” John Hatto said: “We call on Zac to ask the Government for a full review of its promotion of weapons to developing countries.”
Jim McCluskey has written about his reaction to Vince Cable’s defence of the arms trade at the meeting on 29th November 2012, in an article published by OpEdNews and entitled “The Global Arms Trade – You can not be serious, Dr Cable“.
Photos of the meeting on 29th November 2012 are available at:
And a report of the meeting and its implications at:
both courtesy of Campaign Against Arms Trade
We are sorry to announce that Zac Goldsmith MP is not able to attend the meeting on November 29th after all — it turns out that he had already agreed to give a keynote speech for a charity fundraising event which had failed to be entered into his diary. The meeting will be going ahead without him.
Interesting article about David Cameron’s trip to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia this week to sell arms in today’s Guardian.
The reactions of the major NGOs to the failure of the arms trade treaty negotiations have been summarised in an article written by IRIN’s South African bureau http://www.irinnews.org/Report/96012/SECURITY-Arms-trade-treaty-failure-not-all-doom-and-gloom (3 August 2012). IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) provides humanitarian news and analysis funded by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Kingston Peace News for July has an article about the progress we are making with TRAKNAT.
Kingston Peace Council / CND will be collecting petition signatures at stalls at Summer Fairs at New Malden on July 7th and Sutton on August 27th, Bank Holiday Monday. And Amnesty will be at St Margarets Fair on Saturday 14th July. Do come and say hello if you are there.
[Moved from the Events page]
We launched the campaign with some street theatre on Saturday 28th April 2012 outside Santander in Twickenham in the rain.
We did get some good photos, and another 120 petition signatures, which have now dried out completely.
As planned, the event featured one of us dressed as Vince Cable signing export licences, after first asking the arms dealer for assurance that the weapons will not be used for human rights abuses, then the weapons being passed on from arms dealer to dictator.
See the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d0nO78rI2g.
The Jubilee Debt Campaign have discovered from the National Archives that the UK lent money to Argentina in order for them to buy arms from us before the Falklands war, and they still ‘owe’ us the money.
More details at Jubilee Debt Campaign.