Tuesday, 17 July 2012

UN conference on ATT (July 2nd to 27th July 2012

From 6th to 20th of July, with the support of Action On armed Violence and Control Arms, I am participating in the Armed Trade Treaty taking place at UN headquarter in New York. This conference started on 2nd of July and was dedicated to discussions between governments to adopt a strong ATT. Reason of my participation in this conference Festival I am coming from Burundi which an affected country of illegal trade and traffic of small arms. I am at second a victim while being child soldier when war started in Burundi and as I left some of my best friends during the war. At third, I am running an organization “CEDAC” which is helping 25,000 victims of war in Burundi (including widows, orphans and disabled people). These three reasons pushed me to have a determination for a moving forward with the ATT. Participants were coming over 193 countries with a commitment for a strong ATT. Discussions are ongoing and after an opening week, characterized by procedural delays and wrangling, this past week delegates finally got down to content discussions. However they still do not have the basis for negotiation on most of the key elements of the treaty. The optimistic view is that there will be a negotiating text by Wednesday. However, States are running at least a week behind schedule, and there are now only nine working days left to hammer out an agreement. This is disappointing because so much work was done in preparatory meetings and there is a lot of support for a strong Treaty, but now the sceptics are really blocking. A progressive group of countries has emerged but really should have been more organised from the beginning. I am very glad to see that many stake holders including representatives of states who are here in New York have a strong commitment with ATT and encourage them to move forward with it not only to fight the illegal trade and traffic of arms but also for the prevention and the assistance for all victims. For more information about Eric’s Organization, please visit: www.cedac.webs.com www.ericniragira.blogspot.com http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/22/987333/-Ex-Child-Soldier-Hutu-Now-Leads-Training-Centre-for-Ex-Combatants http://www.insightonconflict.org/conflicts/burundi/peacebuilding-organisations/cedac/

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