Press Invite – Indian Parliamentarians Call for an International Arms Trade Treaty

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PRESS INVITE

Indian Parliamentarians Call for an International Arms Trade Treaty

Friday, 20 August 2009, Board Room, Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi. 3pm to 6pm

New Delhi, 19 August: International arms trade is a big business. It has no equal in the industrial sector. Total global military expenditure in 2009 is estimated to have been $1531 billion. This represents an increase of 6 per cent in real terms compared to 2008, and of 49 per cent since 2000. The 10 largest military spenders in 2009 accounted for 75 per cent of world military spending, with the USA alone accounting for 43 per cent. India ranking ninth in the position accounted for 2.4 % of the world share with 36.3 billion US $.

The arms trade was one of the first to globalise, and yet there is no global international treaty to regulate it. It works beyond any regulation and is stained with bribery and corruption.

The movement of arms across the world is a huge threat to human security. According to Binalakshmi Nepram, Secretary General of Control Arms Foundation of India, “90 per cent of conventional arms exports in world are from permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council namely USA, UK, Russia, China & France. They manufacture around 8 million new small arms are manufactured every year and it is these weapons that flood India. At present, it is impossible to monitor or interrupt this deadly flow of weapons. This is because there are no agreed global standards for governments when authorising exports or transfers”.

In a report submitted by Government of India to the United Nations, it was written that India continues to face the challenge of proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons which are smuggled into the country by various anti-national groups.  In Jammu and Kashmir and the north eastern states alone, the security forces have, since 1990, seized approximately 46,000 weapons of all types, whose markings clearly indicated that these were brought into India through illicit channels from outside the country.  This continues to pose a significant challenge to the Government.

The scale of human suffering caused by poorly controlled and irresponsible arms transfers makes political action by the world’s governments imperative. Arms companies, operating from an increasing number of locations, now source components from across the world. Their products are often assembled in countries with lax controls on where they end up. Too easily, weapons get into the wrong hands. Rapidly widening loopholes in national controls demonstrate how this globalised trade also needs global rules.

On 6 December 2006, work to find a solution on unregulated arms trade started with the international Arms Trade Treaty process that began immediately following a historic vote in the UN General Assembly, which saw 153 governments supporting the proposed Arms Trade Treaty. In October 2009 at the United Nations First Committee, after years of discussions and debates, the United Nations agreed a timetable to establish a ‘strong and robust’ Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with the ‘highest common standards’ to control international transfers of conventional arms. 153 countries voted in favour of the resolution, 19 abstained and 1 voted against.

Calling Parliamentarian’s attention on this important issue, Control Arms Foundation of India is organizing the Fifth Briefing session for Parliamentarians on an Arms Trade Treaty and other humanitarian disarmament treaties on Friday, 20 August 2010 at the Board Room, Constitutional Club, from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to make the parliamentarians aware of the deadly trade in arms which is a huge threat to human security and yet operates without global binding regulations.

Please find here attached the programme schedule. For more information, please contact:

Control Arms Foundation of India

B 5/146, First Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi- 110029

Mobile : 9868233373 Phone: 011- 46018541, Fax: +91-11-26166234

PROGRAMME SCHEDULE

Fifth Briefing Session of Parliamentarians on an Arms Trade Treaty and Other Humanitarian Disarmament Treaties

Date: Friday, 20 August 2010

Venue: Board Room, Constitutional Club, Rafi Marg, Delhi – 110001

Time: 3.00pm to 6.00 pm

Time Programme Schedule
2.30 pm Registration
3.00 pm Welcome address by Chair of the session Lt. Gen. (retd.) Dr. B.S. Malik, President, Control Arms Foundation of India
3.10 pm Introduction by Ms Binalakshmi Nepram, Secretary General, Control Arms Foundation of India & Founder- Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network.
3.20 pm Inaugural Address by Swami Agnivesh, Social Activist, Founder-Chairperson of Bonded Labour Liberation Front
3.30 pm Address on “An Arms Trade Treaty and India’s Internal Security” by Professor Swaran Singh, Professor for Diplomacy & Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University
3.40 pm Chief Guest Address by Shri Thokchom Meinya, M.P., Manipur
3.50 pm Statements by Members of Parliament: Shri Biswajit Diamary, Assam; Shri Dr Sanjeev Ganesh Naik, Maharashtra; Shri Silvus Condpan, Assam; Shri Chandu Lal Shau, Chhattisgarh; Shri K C Baba, Uttarakhand
5.00 pm Address “Arms Trade Treaty will not affect India’s Defence Production” by Wing Cdr (retd.) Praful Bakshi, Defence and Security Analyst
5.10 pm Address on “An Arms Trade Treaty is consistent with Constitution of India”, by Mr. Riju Raj Jamwal, Advocate Supreme Court (tbc)
5.20 pm Address on “Building South Asia Alliance for an Arms Trade Treaty” by Mrs. Rita Roy, South Asia Peace Alliance, New Delhi
5.30 pm Valedictory address by Shri EMS Natchiappan, M.P., Tamil Nadu
5.40 pm Poetry on Arms Trade Treaty by Mr. Amit Dahiyabadshah, Poet Laureate and Founder of the Delhi Poetree
5.50 pm Questions from the floor
6.00 pm Thank you note

For more information, please contact:
Binalakshmi Nepram
Control Arms Foundation of India
Email: binalakshmi[at]gmail.com
Mobile: +91-9868233373,
Phone: +91-11-46018541

1 COMMENT

  1. Poor MPs of India !

    Poor Members of Indian Parliament recently agitated and got rewarded with hefty increase in their pay and perks.

    But how do they stack-up vis-à-vis MPs of other countries ?

    Times of India ( Aug.22,2010 ) computed salaries ( including perks ), of MPs of several countries. Then divided these with the per capita GDPs of respective countries.

    To ensure an apple-for-apple comparison, salaries were adjusted using $ Purchase Price Parity.

    The following picture emerged :

    Salary ( + Perks )
    ——————– =
    Per capita GDP

    Kenya…………………………………………………………………..180 times

    India ( before recent upward revision )……………..104 times

    USA…………………………………………………………………………35 times

    Pakistan………………………………………………………………….17 times

    UK…………………………………………………………………………….9 times

    France……………………………………………………………………….8 times

    Italy……………………………………………………………………………7 times

    Japan………………………………………………………………………….6 times

    Singapore……………………………………………………………………4 times

    Other countries of Western Europe……less than…..10 times

    India’s per capita GDP ( in $ PPP ) is taken at $ 3,176 / year

    This hides the fact that nearly 45 % of India’s people ( that should be close to 500 Million ), earn less than $ 0.5 / day as per author Rajesh Shukla ( ” How India Earns, spends and Saves ” )

    One can excuse Indian MPs for not knowing such trivial facts when there are important issues such as Babri Masjid – Ram Janmbhoomi which cannot wait !

    With regards

    hemen parekh

    Jobs for All = Peace on Earth

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