Congress youth leader roots for global arms trade control

Kathmandu, October 22:

Constituent Assembly member Gagan Thapa has stressed the need to implement the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to control arms and ammunition in the world.

“As a parliamentarian of one of the developing countries, I am in favour of this treaty. More than 2,000 lawmakers from 124 countries have signed it,” he said at a ceremony held to hand over the ATT Declaration at the United Nations building in New York on Monday.

He said the treaty should be implemented at the earliest.

Safeguards should be put in place to make sure that rights are not violated under any pretext, he said. “Once the treaty is signed, I will press Nepal’s parliament to make laws in line with the treaty.”

The arms trade treaty declaration is a arms control campaign, run jointly by the Amnesty International, the International Action Network on Small Arms and the Oxfam International, said the statement, adding that more than 60 Nepali parliamentarians have signed the treaty, demanding its immediate implementation.

The declaration calls for the early implementation of ATT to help save lives and prevent grave human rights abuse and the ongoing destruction of livelihoods in the world.

According to the statement, parliamentarians Gagan Thapa, Ibrahim Toure from Mali and Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel from the Philippines handed over the signed declaration to the Chair of the United Nations General Assembly’s Disarmament and International Security Committee (1st Committee), Ambassador of Honduras Marco Antonio Suazo Fernández at a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday.

It said the UN is scheduled to hold a crucial vote later this month on whether to take forward plans to draft a treaty that will control global arms trade.

“We (parliamentarians) represent hundreds of thousands of people. We know millions of people around the world would stand against the arms trade,” Thapa said.

He further said that all the countries should take urgent action to control arms trade.