New York, NY – April 3, 2013
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) commends the United Nations (UN) for passing the global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to regulate the international multi-billion dollar trade in conventional arms. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the WEA, said: „We congratulate both the United Nations and all those activists including WEA members who worked for almost a decade to get this important treaty passed.”
The ATT establishes common binding standards to be applied by UN member states to all international weapons transfers, and is designed to ban arms sales for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, terrorist acts and grave human rights violations.
Last summer, Bishop Elias Taban, President of the Evangelical Alliance of South Sudan shared his personal testimony in front of UN delegates, as they entered into a month-long negotiation. Having experienced the atrocities of war firsthand, he called the ATT “an answer to prayer.”
“Churches and their members witness the human costs of unlawful armed violence every day,” read a July-statement issued by the WEA, the World Council of Churches, Pax Christi International and Caritas. “With thousands of people around the world killed or injured in armed violence each day, the governments’ work will be judged by how many lives the treaty helps save.”
„The WEA was active in supporting a strong Arms Trade Treaty reflecting our commitment to building a more peaceful world that will allow individuals, families and communities to flourish”, Dr. Tunnicliffe said. “It is our hope and prayer that as the treaty is implemented, the flow of illegal arms and the resulting loss of life will be significantly reduced. Warlords and human rights violators are now on notice: it will not be business as usual.“
The ATT will enter into force 90 days after being ratified by at least 50 UN member states.
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Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving and representing more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to speak as a trusted voice, to equip members and leaders for global impact and to connect its members and others for common action in the furtherance of God’s reign. For more info e-mail at [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.