Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI): 5000 Indians die each year due to unregulated arms trade.

'A United Nations Arms Trade Treaty currently being negotiated can help India tackle rising terrorist violence and provide internal security'

New Delhi, 1 March 2011: Each year worldwide, 500,000 people are killed directly with conventional weapons and many more are injured, abused, forcibly displaced and bereaved as a result of armed violence. And 5000 Indians are killed every year due to unregulated arms trade.

The movement of arms across the world is a huge threat to human security. 1,135 companies in 98 countries manufacture arms, ammunitions and components worldwide. Yet the global trade that fuels the epidemic of armed violence is not subject to international regulation. There is more regulation in music and film industry than in arms. If the death, injury and disability resulting from small arms were categorised as a disease, we would view it as an epidemic.

Several years earlier on 6 December 2006, for the first time, work to find a solution on unregulated arms trade started with the international Arms Trade Treaty process that began as 153 countries voted in favour of the historic resolution on Arms Trade Treaty in the UN General Assembly.

Work is going on now to make the Arms Trade Treaty happen by 2012. Presently, the Preparatory Committee on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT PrepCom) is being held at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York from 28 February till 4 March 2011.

Since 2008, India’s position on Arms Trade Treaty have not changed. Indian civil society have been calling on India to take a more proactive lead in this. With 12 Indians killed every day due to unregulated arms, Indian civil society organisations have been calling upon the Government of India to support the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty Process to stop human cost of unregulated arms.

India has raised several concerns regarding Arms Trade Treaty. According to According to Binalakshmi Nepram, Secretary General of Control Arms Foundation of India, “Terrorism, internal security and defence production are the three areas which India wants taken care in negotiation process”. Indian civil society experts group led by Control Arms Foundation of India, a New Delhi based policy and advocacy group in their recent release have stated that an Arms Trade Treaty will in fact help India in their fight against terrorism, help in strengthening internal security and will in no way stop in the way in any defence production.

Hundreds of Indian civil society organizations and over 50,000 Indians have signed on a petition submitted to Indian Prime Minister for India to take a lead on an ATT. India as an emerging world power who is vying for a seat at the United Nations Security Council needs to now lead United Nations member states to make an robust international Arms Trade Treaty happen by 2012.

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